H19 expression and tumorigenicity of choriocarcinoma derived cell lines

J. Rachmilewitz, M. Elkin, J. Rosensaft, Z. Gelman-Kohan, I. Ariel, O. Lustig, T. Schneider, R. Goshen, H. Biran, N. De Groot, A. Hochberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Certain embryonal tumors demonstrate a loss of heterozygosity at the parentally imprinted region of chromosome 11p15.5. It has been hypothesized that this implicates a tumor suppressor gene at this locus. The human H19 gene maps to 11p15.5, is expressed in fetal tissues including the placenta and is paternally imprinted. Here we show that the abundance of H19 transcripts in cells of two choriocarcinoma derived cell lines (JAr and JEG-3) differs greatly. While JAr cells express high levels of H19 RNA, the expression of H19 in JEG3 cells is much lower than that of normal trophoblasts. Cells of these two cell lines were subcutaneously injected into nude mice with subsequent tumor formation. A fivefold increase in the H19 RNA level was measured in tumors derived from JEG-3 cell lines as compared to these cells before injection. However this increase in H19 RNA did not alter the clonogenicity in soft agar nor the growth rate of the cells derived from these tumors as compared to the original JEG3 cells. Nevertheless, the cells retaining the elevated level of H19 transcripts were more tumorigenic than the original cells. We propose that there is a selection of cells expressing high levels of H19 from the total JEG3 cell population during the microevolution of tumor formation. These observations, together with our previous publications on H19 expression in human cancers, do not support the notion of a tumor suppressor role for the H19 gene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-870
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Choriocarcinoma cell lines
  • H19
  • Oncogene
  • Tumor suppressor gene


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