of human bladder carcinogenesis is lacking. Only a limited set of genes and potential tumor markers have been analyzed in this tumor type. Hence, additional markers which would permit accurate prediction of the invasive potential of bladder tumors would have considerable clinical significance and might provide new insights into the cascade of events leading to bladder carcinoma. Our recent studies have suggested that a special """"""""regulatory RNA"""""""" (that is, an RNA lacking a definable protein product) named H19 indeed constitutes such a marker. Of interest, the H19 gene, which encodes the H19 RNA, is one of a small group of imprinted genes; some imprinted genes are thought to have a decisive role in embryonal human cancers. H19 RNA was originally defined as a fetal murine liver messenger-like RNA with no protein product and without a known function. Our group subsequently showed that H19 mRNA is also expressed in various organs of the human fetus, as well as in the placenta. We also demonstrated that H19 RNA is absent from adult human tissues, but intriguingly, reappears in a selected set of human tumors; hence, H19 RNA is an oncofetal RNA. Of particular note, H19 RNA is strikingly abundant, constituting between 5-10% of the total mRNA of the cells in which it appears. This proposal seeks to build upon these observations with the following specific aims: 1) to quantitate H19 and IGF2 mRNA levels in a large number of human bladder carcinoma biopsy specimens using a novel computerized in situ hybridization method in order to correlate H19 and IGF2 RNA levels with clinical stages of the tumor; 2) to determine whether there is monoallelic versus biallelic expression of H19 and IGF2 in the same human bladder carcinoma biopsy specimens, and to assess their methylation status; 3) to assess the functions of the H19 and IGF2 gene products in human bladder carcinoma cell lines and primary cultures via sense and antisense H19 gene transfer experiments; and 4) to establish a murine in vivo model for bladder carcinoma in which the dynamics of H19 and IGF2 expression and tumor progression can be correlated. These studies will shed light on the hypotheses that: (i) H19 is an oncofetal gene which is a marker of the tumorigenic and especially invasive potential of bladder carcinoma; and (ii) H19 provides a novel and clinically useful diagnostic marker for prognosticating human bladder carcinoma.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Metabolic Pathology Study Section (MEP)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Case Western Reserve University
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Abdul-Ghani, R; Ohana, P; Matouk, I et al. (2000) Use of transcriptional regulatory sequences of telomerase (hTER and hTERT) for selective killing of cancer cells. Mol Ther 2:539-44
Banet, G; Bibi, O; Matouk, I et al. (2000) Characterization of human and mouse H19 regulatory sequences. Mol Biol Rep 27:157-65
Ariel, I; Sughayer, M; Fellig, Y et al. (2000) The imprinted H19 gene is a marker of early recurrence in human bladder carcinoma. Mol Pathol 53:320-3
Elkin, M; Ariel, I; Miao, H Q et al. (1999) Inhibition of bladder carcinoma angiogenesis, stromal support, and tumor growth by halofuginone. Cancer Res 59:4111-8
Ohana, P; Kopf, E; Bibi, O et al. (1999) The expression of the H19 gene and its function in human bladder carcinoma cell lines. FEBS Lett 454:81-4
Elkin, M; Ayesh, S; Schneider, T et al. (1998) The dynamics of the imprinted H19 gene expression in the mouse model of bladder carcinoma induced by N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl)nitrosamine. Carcinogenesis 19:2095-9
Kopf, E; Bibi, O; Ayesh, S et al. (1998) The effect of retinoic acid on the activation of the human H19 promoter by a 3' downstream region. FEBS Lett 432:123-7