Loss of imprinting of IGF2: A common epigenetic modifier of intestinal tumor risk

Atsushi Kaneda, Andrew P. Feinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Epigenetic alterations in cancer occur at least as commonly as genetic mutations, but epigenetic alterations could occur secondarily to the tumor process itself. To establish a causal role of epigenetic changes, investigators have turned to genetically engineered mouse models. Here, we review a recent study showing that a mouse model of loss of imprinting (LOI) of the insulin-like growth factor II gene (Igf2), which shows aberrant activation of the normally silent maternal allele, modifies the risk of intestinal neoplasia caused by mutations of the adenomatous polyposis coli (Apc) gene. This increased risk corresponds to the apparent increased risk of colorectal cancer in patients with LOI of IGF2. The model suggests that preexisting epigenetic alterations in normal cells increase tumor risk by expanding the target cell population and/or modulating the effect of subsequent genetic alterations on these cells, providing a novel idea for cancer risk management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11236-11240
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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