Genomic imprinting and Wilms' tumor

Thomas Moulton, Wai Yee Chung, Luwa Yuan, Terrence Hensle, Pamela Waber, Perry Nisen, Benjamin Tycko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


he selective loss of maternal and reduplication of paternal chromosome 11 p15.5 alleles in Wilms' tumors (WTs) points to the existence of a paternally imprinted tumor suppressor gene(s) and/or a maternally imprinted dose-dependent growth-promoting gene(s) in this chromosomal region. Two reciprocally imprinted chromosome 11 p15.5 genes, H19, a candidate tumor suppressor gene, and IGF2, a candidate dominant oncogene, have been well characterized in terms of their imprinting and expression status in WTs. Here we review and extend data indicating that a majority of WTs show a bipaternal epigenotype at these foci, with H19 inactive and IGF2 biallelically active. This can arise either through loss of heterozygosity (LOH) or by a non-LOH pathway involving localized biallelic hypermethylation of H19 DNA. Conversion to this bipaternal endpoint has recently been found to affect not only these two genes, but also at least one other imprinted 11p15.5 gene, KIP2. Since 11p15.5 LOH and biallelic H19 hypermethylation can occur both early and late in tumor progression and since early loss is not associated with bilaterality or multifocality of WTs, these types of lesions appear to be permissive rather than rate-limiting in Wilms' tumoregenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-483
Number of pages8
JournalMedical and Pediatric Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • H19 gene
  • Wilms' tumor
  • genomic imprinting


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