Increased expression of angiogenic genes in the brains of mouse meg3-null embryos

Endocrinology. 2010 Jun;151(6):2443-52. doi: 10.1210/en.2009-1151. Epub 2010 Apr 14.


Maternally expressed gene 3 (MEG3) is a noncoding RNA highly expressed in the normal human brain and pituitary. Expression of MEG3 is lost in gonadotroph-derived clinically nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas. Meg3 knockout mice were generated to identify targets and potential functions of this gene in embryonic development and tumorigenesis. Gene expression profiles were compared in the brains of Meg3-null embryos and wild-type littermate controls using microarray analysis. Microarray data were analyzed with GeneSifter, which uses Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways and Gene Ontology classifications to identify signaling cascades and functional categories of interest within the dataset. Differences were found in signaling pathways and ontologies related to angiogenesis between wild-type and knockout embryos. Quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistological staining showed increased expression of some Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor pathway genes and increased cortical microvessel density in the Meg3-null embryos. In conclusion, Meg3 may play an important role in control of vascularization in the brain and may function as a tumor suppressor in part by inhibiting angiogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / embryology*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / genetics
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / physiology*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / genetics
  • Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / physiology*
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2 / genetics
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2 / metabolism


  • MEG3 non-coding RNA, mouse
  • Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2