IGF2 is critical for tumorigenesis by synovial sarcoma oncoprotein SYT-SSX1

Oncogene. 2006 Feb 16;25(7):1042-52. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1209143.


Synovial sarcoma is an aggressive soft tissue tumor characterized by a specific chromosomal translocation between chromosome 18 and X. This translocation can generate a fusion transcript encoding SYT-SSX1, a transforming oncoprotein. We present evidence that SYT-SSX1 induces insulin-like growth factor II expression in fibroblast cells. SYT-SSX2, a fusion also frequently found in synovial sarcoma, is necessary for maintaining Igf2 expression in the synovial sarcoma cell line, and the increased IGF2 synthesis protects cells from anoikis and is required for tumor formation in vivo. We also found a loss of imprinting (LOI) for Igf2 in a limited number of primary synovial sarcomas despite demethylation of CpG dinucleotides critical for maintaining imprinting. These findings suggest that inhibition of the IGF2/IGF1-R signaling pathway may represent a significant therapeutic modality for treating synovial sarcoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • CpG Islands
  • DNA Methylation
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Genomic Imprinting*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II / genetics*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II / metabolism
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / genetics
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Sarcoma, Synovial / genetics*
  • Sarcoma, Synovial / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
  • SYT-SSX fusion protein
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II