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Int J Oncol. 2001 Jul;19(1):89-95.

Examination of the oncogenic potential of H19 gene in HeLa x normal human fibroblast hybrid cells.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of California-Irvine, College of Medicine, Irvine, CA 92697-4025, USA.


Fusion of tumorigenic HeLa cells with human skin fibroblasts results in chromosomally stable non-tumorigenic hybrids. The studies of rare spontaneous tumorigenic segregants from the non-tumorigenic hybrid have implicated the loss of one copy of human fibroblast chromosome 11 with concomitant re-expression of tumorigenicity. In a previous study of differential display screening, we reported the tumorigenic-specific expression of H19 gene as a possible candidate for elicitation of tumorigenic phenotype. In this study, we examined the expression of H19 gene using gamma-ray-induced tumorigenic mutants (GIMs) and non-tumorigenic irradiated control cells (CONs) from the non-tumorigenic hybrids. H19 expression was recognized in all the GIMs with various expression levels, whereas no CONs expressed the H19 gene. To examine the tumorigenic potentials of H19 gene directly, we introduced an H19 gene expression vector into the non-tumorigenic hybrids and assayed the tumorigenicity of the transfectants by s.c. injection into athymic nude mice. However, no transfectants with stable H19 gene expression induced in vivo tumor growth. These results suggest that expression of the H19 gene may be necessary but is not sufficient to confer the tumorigenic phenotype in HeLa x fibroblast hybrids.

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