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Cancer Res. 2003 Apr 15;63(8):1900-5.

Loss of imprinting of IGF2 sense and antisense transcripts in Wilms' tumor.

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  • 1Medical Service, VA Palo Alto Health Care System and the Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto,California 94304, USA.


Human insulin-like growth factor II gene (IGF2) is overexpressed, and its imprinting is disrupted in many tumors, including Wilms' tumor. A transcript that is antisense to IGF2, IGF2-antisense (IGF2-AS), is transcribed from within IGF2 in a reverse orientation. This transcript is also maternally imprinted and overexpressed in Wilms' tumor. IGF2-AS was detected as a 2.2 kb mRNA in Hep 3B cells by Northern blotting, and it encodes a putative 168 amino acid peptide. An alternative splicing mRNA observed predominantly in adult liver encodes an additional putative 199 amino acid peptide. We have examined the expression of IGF2 and IGF2-AS in normal tissue, breast and ovarian tumors, and 25 informative, well-characterized Wilms' tumors and determined the relationship between IGF2 and IGF2-AS imprinting. IGF2-AS was expressed at levels comparable with IGF2 sense expression derived from promoters P1 and P2 in normal tissue and in breast, ovarian, and Wilms' tumor tissues. In Wilms' tumors that demonstrate maintenance of imprinting of IGF2, IGF2-AS was imprinted. In contrast, in tumors which demonstrate LOI of IGF2, only two of six tumors showed loss of imprinting of IGF2-AS, whereas four of six tumors demonstrated maintenance of imprinting for IGF2-AS. The discrepancy between IGF2 and IGF2-AS loss of imprinting in some tumors demonstrates the control complexity of the imprinting status of the various transcripts derived from the IGF2 gene.

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