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Reviewed June 2015
What is the official name of the IGF2 gene?
The official name of this gene is “insulin like growth factor 2.”
IGF2 is the gene's official symbol. The IGF2 gene is also known by other names, listed below.
Read more about gene names and symbols on the About page.
What is the normal function of the IGF2 gene?
The IGF2 gene provides instructions for making a protein called insulin-like growth factor 2. This protein plays an essential role in growth and development before birth. Studies suggest that insulin-like growth factor 2 promotes the growth and division (proliferation) of cells in many different tissues. Although the IGF2 gene is highly active during fetal development, it is much less active after birth.
People inherit one copy of most genes from their mother and one copy from their father. Both copies are typically active, or "turned on," in cells. However, the activity of the IGF2 gene depends on which parent it was inherited from. In most tissues, only the copy inherited from a person's father (the paternally inherited copy) is active; the copy inherited from the mother (the maternally inherited copy) is not active. This sort of parent-specific difference in gene activation is caused by a phenomenon called genomic imprinting.
IGF2 is part of a cluster of genes on the short (p) arm of chromosome 11 that undergo genomic imprinting. Another gene in this cluster, H19, is also involved in growth and development. A nearby region of DNA known as imprinting center 1 (IC1) or the H19 differentially methylated region (H19 DMR) controls the parent-specific genomic imprinting of both the IGF2 and H19 genes. The IC1 region undergoes a process called methylation, which is a chemical reaction that attaches small molecules called methyl groups to certain segments of DNA. Methylation, which occurs during the formation of an egg or sperm cell, is a way of marking or "stamping" the parent of origin. The IC1 region is normally methylated only on the paternally inherited copy of chromosome 11.
How are changes in the IGF2 gene related to health conditions?
Genetics Home Reference provides information about prostate cancer, which is also associated with changes in the IGF2 gene.
Where is the IGF2 gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 11p15.5
Molecular Location on chromosome 11: base pairs 2,129,112 to 2,149,603
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The IGF2 gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 11 at position 15.5.
More precisely, the IGF2 gene is located from base pair 2,129,112 to base pair 2,149,603 on chromosome 11.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about IGF2?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about IGF2 helpful.
You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for genetics professionals and researchers.
What other names do people use for the IGF2 gene or gene products?
See How are genetic conditions and genes named? in the Handbook.
Where can I find general information about genes?
The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.
These links provide additional genetics resources that may be useful.
What glossary definitions help with understanding IGF2?
cancer ; cell ; chromosome ; colon ; DNA ; egg ; epigenetic ; gene ; growth factor ; imprinting ; inherit ; inherited ; insulin ; kidney ; leukemia ; liver cancer ; methyl ; methylation ; oncogene ; prognosis ; progression ; proliferation ; prostate ; protein ; rhabdomyosarcoma ; short stature ; sperm ; stature ; syndrome ; tissue ; tumor ; Wilms tumor
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (9 links)
The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.