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Mol Carcinog. 2002 Oct;35(2):63-74.

Possible physiological role of H19 RNA.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.


The product of the imprinted oncofetal H19 gene is an untranslated RNA of unknown function. With the human cDNA Atlas microarray, we detected differentially expressed genes modulated by the presence of H19 RNA. Many of the genes that are upregulated by H19 RNA are known to contribute to the invasive, migratory, and angiogenic capacities of cells. Moreover, we provided experimental data indicating that whereas H19 RNA did not have any growth advantage for the cells when cultured in 10% fetal calf serum, it did confer an advantage when cells were cultured in serum-poor medium. This observation can be explained in part by the inability of the H19-expressing cells to induce the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p57(kip2) in response to serum stress. Our results favor the possible role of the H19 gene in promoting cancer progression, angiogenesis, and metastasis.

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