Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated gastric cancer (EBVaGC) is a common malignant tumor associated with EBV infection. Insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) is an imprinted gene and a key protein that regulates growth, especially during normal fetal development. Loss of imprinting (LOI), is a common epigenetic anomaly in a variety of human cancers. However, the promoter methylation, imprinting status and function of IGF2 gene in GC are unclear. To explore the role of IGF2 in the occurrence and development of gastric cancer. The biological function of IGF2 in gastric cancer was investigated by Transwell, wound healing, CCK-8 and flow cytometry assays. IGF2 imprinting status and gene promoter methylation in gastric cancer tissues were detected by PCR-RFLP and BGS. The results showed that the expression of IGF2 was higher in GC tissues than adjacent tissues. IGF2 gene promoter methylation and LOI were significantly higher in EBVaGC tissues than in EBV-negative gastric cancer (EBVnGC) tissues. The high expression of IGF2 in gastric cancer can promote the migration and proliferation of gastric cancer cells. Our data suggest that IGF2 is involved in the occurrence and development of gastric cancer. Targeting IGF2 may be a potential therapeutic target for gastric cancer.

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