Interplay of estrogen receptors and FOXA factors in the liver cancer

Yongbing Zhao, Zhaoyu Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Liver cancer is the fifth most common cancer in human with male dominance. Sexual dimorphism of liver cancer is conserved from rodents to humans, which was firstly found in mice in late 1930s and female mice were resistant to liver cancer. Sex hormones were found to affect the incidence of liver cancer in rodents. Estrogen receptor alpha (ERα)-mediated estrogen signaling or androgen receptor-mediated androgen signaling prevents or promotes the growth of rodent liver tumors, respectively. Forkhead box protein A (Foxa) factors, Foxa1 and Foxa2, also known as pioneer transcription factors in liver specification, are essential for both estrogen and androgen signaling by acting as central regulators of sexual dimorphism in liver cancer. This review mainly focuses on the interplay between ERα and FOXA factors in liver cancer, and summarizes recent breakthrough studies in elucidating the mechanisms of sexual dimorphism in liver cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-339
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
StatePublished - Dec 15 2015


  • Estrogen receptor (ER)
  • FOXA1
  • FOXA2
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)
  • Liver cancer
  • Sexual dimorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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