Genomic Imprinting of IGF2 Is Maintained in Infantile Hemangioma despite its High Level of Expression
Hemangioma, the most common tumor of infancy, is characterized by rapid growth and slow regression. Increased mRNA expression of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) has been detected in the proliferating phase by cDNA microarray analysis, but the underlying mechanism causing the increase remains unknown. Here, using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunohistochemistry, we show that IGF2 is highly expressed in both proliferating and involuting phase hemangioma, but is not detectable in other vascular lesions such as pyogenic granuloma, venous malformation, lymphatic malformation, or in normal infant skin. Loss of imprinting of the Igf2 gene has been associated with IGF2 overexpression in a variety of childhood tumors. To determine if loss of imprinting and consequent bi-allelic expression might contribute to the increased expression of IGF2, we examined the genomic imprinting status of Igf2 in 48 individual hemangiomas. We determined allele-specific Igf2 expression using reverse transcriptase-PCR combined with analysis of an Apa I-sensitive restriction fragment length polymorphism. Similar to heterozygous normal skin controls, all 15 informative hemangiomas showed uniform mono-allelic expression of Igf2. Therefore, loss of imprinting is not involved in the increased expression of IGF2 in infantile hemangioma.
This study is supported by grants from the NIH (P01 AR048564) and the John Butler Mulliken Foundation. We thank Drs. Zia Khan and Carmen Barnes, both members of the Vascular Biology Program, Children’s Hospital Boston, for advice on real-time PCR quantitative analysis and human placental RNA samples, respectively.
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