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

Imprinting and expression of insulin-like growth factor-II and H19 in normal breast tissue and breast tumor.

Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-II is a mitogenic peptide that has been reported to play an important role in the formation and growth of a variety of tumors. In most tissues, the IGF-II gene (IGF2) is parentally imprinted, with only the paternal allele being expressed. IGF2 messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein are overexpressed in some benign and malignant tumors. H19, a tumor suppressor gene located directly downstream from IGF2, is also genomically imprinted, but the paternal allele is silenced. It has been suggested that alterations in the imprinting of these two genes, which are located at chromosome 11p15.5, may lead to a malignant diathesis. We examined 18 fresh-frozen (FF) breast tumors with their adjacent normal breast tissue and 14 sets of paraffin-embedded formalin-fixed tissues for IGF2 and H19 gene expression and imprinting. IGF2 mRNA and H19 RNA could be quantitated in 15 of the 18 FF tumors. Although three of these tumors showed a > or = 2-fold increase in IGF2 expression when compared with the normal control tissues, the average abundance of IGF2 mRNA in 8 of 15 FF samples was < 50% that observed in the normal tissue. The expression of H19 RNA in these tumors was increased by > or = 2-fold in 5 tumors, but decreased by < or = 50% in 6 tumors when compared with normal adjacent tissue. By examining the ApaI and CA-repeat polymorphisms in the IGF2 gene, we found that the imprinting of IGF2 was maintained in all but 2 of the 17 informative subjects. H19 imprinting was maintained in all 18 informative fresh-frozen and paraffin-embedded formalin-fixed samples. Our data suggest that alterations in IGF2 and H19 gene expression and loss of imprinting do not occur reliably in breast cancer.[1]


  1. Imprinting and expression of insulin-like growth factor-II and H19 in normal breast tissue and breast tumor. Yballe, C.M., Vu, T.H., Hoffman, A.R. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (1996) [Pubmed]
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