The expression of the imprinted genes H19 and IGF-2 in choriocarcinoma cell lines. Is H19 a tumor suppressor gene?

Oncogene. 1997 Jul 10;15(2):169-77. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1201175.


H19 is a paternally imprinted gene with unknown function. It is located in close proximity to the maternally imprinted IGF-2 gene on chromosome 11p15.5. In this study no consistent relationship between the expression of these two genes in clones derived from JEG-3 and JAr cell lines could be detected. Nor could a consistent relationship be detected between the expression levels of these two genes and between certain characteristic tumorigenic properties of these clones. We included in this study clones, expressing low H19 levels, which after transfection with an H19 expression construct highly expressed the H19 gene. In tumors, formed by the injection of cells of JAr or JEG-3 clones into nude mice, the H19 expression was high and irrelevant to the expression level in the cells before the injection. The same phenomenon was found for IGF-2 expression during tumorigenesis caused by cells of different JEG-3 clones and in some but not all JAr derived clones. Both H19 and IGF-2 are biallelicly expressed in all the JAr and JEG-3 clones. In summary, our observations point to the conclusion that H19 is not a tumor suppressor gene. However, its high expression in all the tumors formed after injection of cells of the JAr and JEG-3 clones, leaves its role, if any, in choriocarcinogenesis an open question.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Choriocarcinoma / genetics*
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / etiology
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • RNA, Untranslated*
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • H19 long non-coding RNA
  • Muscle Proteins
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II