Reversal of loss of imprinting in tumor cells by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine

Janet M. Barletta, Shirley Rainier, Andrew P. Feinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To determine whether loss of imprinting in cancer might be reversed by altering DNA methylation, we treated tumor cells with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, a specific inhibitor of cytosine DNA methyltransferase. Treated cells showed several significant and reproducible changes. (a) Equal expression of maternal and paternal alleles of insulin-like growth factor 2 switched to predominant expression of a single parental allele. (b) H19 expression was reactivated. (c) Biallelic H19 expression switched to monoallelic expression. (d) Biallelic methylation of H19 switched to preferential allelic methylation. These results imply that abnormally imprinted cells are susceptible to epigenetic modification and that the effect of 5-aza-2'- deoxycytidine on tumor cells with loss of imprinting is not random but specific to one allele.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-50
Number of pages3
JournalCancer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Reversal of loss of imprinting in tumor cells by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this