MEG3 imprinted gene contribution in tumorigenesis



Maternally expressed gene 3 (MEG3) is a maternally expressed imprinted gene representing a large noncoding RNA in which microRNAs (miRNAs) and small nucleolar RNAs are also hosted. It is capable of interacting with cyclic AMP, p53, murine double minute 2 (MDM2) and growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) playing a role in cell proliferation control. MEG3 expression is under epigenetic control, and aberrant CpG methylation has been observed in several types of cancer. Moreover, gene copy number loss has been reported as additional mechanism associated with tumorigenesis. MEG3 deletion seems to upregulate the paternally expressed genes and on the other hand downregulate the expression of downstream maternally expressed genes and tumor suppressor miRNAs, although there are conflicting data on the topic. MEG3 could represent a tumor suppressor gene located in chromosome 14q32 and its association with tumorigenesis is growing every day.