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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The c-Myc oncogene directly induces the H19 noncoding RNA by allele-specific binding to potentiate tumorigenesis.

The product of the MYC oncogene is widely deregulated in cancer and functions as a regulator of gene transcription. Despite an extensive profile of regulated genes, the transcriptional targets of c-Myc essential for transformation remain unclear. In this study, we show that c-Myc significantly induces the expression of the H19 noncoding RNA in diverse cell types, including breast epithelial, glioblastoma, and fibroblast cells. c-Myc binds to evolutionarily conserved E-boxes near the imprinting control region to facilitate histone acetylation and transcriptional initiation of the H19 promoter. In addition, c-Myc down-regulates the expression of insulin-like growth factor 2 ( IGF2), the reciprocally imprinted gene at the H19/ IGF2 locus. We show that c-Myc regulates these two genes independently and does not affect H19 imprinting. Indeed, allele-specific chromatin immunoprecipitation and expression analyses indicate that c-Myc binds and drives the expression of only the maternal H19 allele. The role of H19 in transformation is addressed using a knockdown approach and shows that down-regulation of H19 significantly decreases breast and lung cancer cell clonogenicity and anchorage-independent growth. In addition, c-Myc and H19 expression shows strong association in primary breast and lung carcinomas. This work indicates that c-Myc induction of the H19 gene product holds an important role in transformation.[1]


  1. The c-Myc oncogene directly induces the H19 noncoding RNA by allele-specific binding to potentiate tumorigenesis. Barsyte-Lovejoy, D., Lau, S.K., Boutros, P.C., Khosravi, F., Jurisica, I., Andrulis, I.L., Tsao, M.S., Penn, L.Z. Cancer Res. (2006) [Pubmed]
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