Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-7 (IGFBP7) transcript: A-to-I editing events in normal and cancerous human keratinocytes

Malka Hochberg*, Leon Gilead, Gal Markel, Yael Nemlich, Yulia Feiler, Claes David Enk, Polina Denichenko, Rotem Karni, Arieh Ingber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC) are the most common malignancies in caucasians worldwide. Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-7 (IGFBP7) was suggested to function as a tumor suppressor gene in several cancers, and to play a role in the proliferation of keratinocytes. A-to-I RNA editing is a post-transcriptional mechanism frequently used to expand and diversify transcriptome and proteome repertoire in eukaryotic cells. A-to-I RNA editing can alter codons, substitute amino acids and affect protein sequence, structure, and function. Two editing sites were identified within the IGFBP7 transcript. To evaluate the expression and editing of IGFBP7 mRNA in NMSC compared to normal epidermis. We examined the expression and mRNA editing level of IGFBP7 in 22 basal cell carcinoma (BCC), 15 squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and 18 normal epidermis samples that were surgically removed from patients by the Mohs Micrographic Surgery procedure. We studied the effect of IGFBP7 editing on an immortalized HaCaT keratinocyte cell model. IGFBP7 mRNA is over expressed in BCC and SCC compared to normal epidermis. Moreover, the IGFBP7 transcript is highly edited in normal epidermis, but its editing is significantly reduced in BCC and SCC. The edited form of IGFBP7 can inhibit proliferation and induce senescence in cultured keratinocytes. This study describes for the first time A-to-I editing in the coding sequence of a tumor suppressor gene in humans, and suggests that IGFBP7 editing serves as a fine-tuning mechanism to maintain the equilibrium between proliferation and senescence in normal skin.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)519-528
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Dermatological Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • BCC and SCC
  • IGFBP7
  • Proliferation
  • RNA-editing
  • Senescence


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