The long non-coding RNA H19 drives the proliferation of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma with H3K27 mutation

David Roig-Carles, Holly Jackson, Katie F. Loveson, Alan Mackay, Rebecca L. Mather, Ella Waters, Massimiliano Manzo, Ilaria Alborelli, Jon Golding, Chris Jones, Helen L. Fillmore, Francesco Crea

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Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is an incurable paediatric malignancy. Identifying the molecular drivers of DIPG progression is of the utmost importance. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) represent a large family of disease- and tissue-specific transcripts, whose functions have not yet been elucidated in DIPG. Herein, we studied the oncogenic role of the development-associated H19 lncRNA in DIPG. Bioinformatic analyses of clinical datasets were used to measure the expression of H19 lncRNA in paediatric high-grade gliomas (pedHGGs). The expression and sub-cellular location of H19 lncRNA were validated in DIPG cell lines. Locked nucleic acid antisense oligonucleotides were designed to test the function of H19 in DIPG cells. We found that H19 expression was higher in DIPG vs. normal brain tissue and other pedHGGs. H19 knockdown resulted in decreased cell proliferation and survival in DIPG cells. Mechanistically, H19 buffers let-7 microRNAs, resulting in the up-regulation of oncogenic let-7 target (e.g., SULF2 and OSMR). H19 is the first functionally characterized lncRNA in DIPG and a promising therapeutic candidate for treating this incurable cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9165
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2021


  • paediatric glioma
  • DIPG
  • diffuse midline glioma
  • IncRNA
  • epigenetics
  • brain cancer


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