Gene Summary

Gene:IGF1R; insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor
Aliases: IGFR, CD221, IGFIR, JTK13
Summary:This receptor binds insulin-like growth factor with a high affinity. It has tyrosine kinase activity. The insulin-like growth factor I receptor plays a critical role in transformation events. Cleavage of the precursor generates alpha and beta subunits. It is highly overexpressed in most malignant tissues where it functions as an anti-apoptotic agent by enhancing cell survival. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, May 2014]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 March, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 17 March 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 17 March, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: IGF1R (cancer-related)

Schwartz S, Wongvipat J, Trigwell CB, et al.
Feedback suppression of PI3Kα signaling in PTEN-mutated tumors is relieved by selective inhibition of PI3Kβ.
Cancer Cell. 2015; 27(1):109-22 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 12/01/2016 Related Publications
In PTEN-mutated tumors, we show that PI3Kα activity is suppressed and PI3K signaling is driven by PI3Kβ. A selective inhibitor of PI3Kβ inhibits the Akt/mTOR pathway in these tumors but not in those driven by receptor tyrosine kinases. However, inhibition of PI3Kβ only transiently inhibits Akt/mTOR signaling because it relieves feedback inhibition of IGF1R and other receptors and thus causes activation of PI3Kα and a rebound in downstream signaling. This rebound is suppressed and tumor growth inhibition enhanced with combined inhibition of PI3Kα and PI3Kβ. In PTEN-deficient models of prostate cancer, this effective inhibition of PI3K causes marked activation of androgen receptor activity. Combined inhibition of both PI3K isoforms and androgen receptor results in major tumor regressions.

Nurwidya F, Takahashi F, Kobayashi I, et al.
Treatment with insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor inhibitor reverses hypoxia-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition in non-small cell lung cancer.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 455(3-4):332-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) is expressed in many types of solid tumors including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and enhanced activation of IGF1R is thought to reflect cancer progression. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been established as one of the mechanisms responsible for cancer progression and metastasis, and microenvironment conditions, such as hypoxia, have been shown to induce EMT. The purposes of this study were to address the role of IGF1R activation in hypoxia-induced EMT in NSCLC and to determine whether inhibition of IGF1R might reverse hypoxia-induced EMT. Human NSCLC cell lines A549 and HCC2935 were exposed to hypoxia to investigate the expression of EMT-related genes and phenotypes. Gene expression analysis was performed by quantitative real-time PCR and cell phenotypes were studied by morphology assessment, scratch wound assay, and immunofluorescence. Hypoxia-exposed cells exhibited a spindle-shaped morphology with increased cell motility reminiscent of EMT, and demonstrated the loss of E-cadherin and increased expression of fibronectin and vimentin. Hypoxia also led to increased expression of IGF1, IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP3), and IGF1R, but not transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1). Inhibition of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) with YC-1 abrogated activation of IGF1R, and reduced IGF1 and IGFBP3 expression in hypoxic cells. Furthermore, inhibition of IGF1R using AEW541 in hypoxic condition restored E-cadherin expression, and reduced expression of fibronectin and vimentin. Finally, IGF1 stimulation of normoxic cells induced EMT. Our findings indicated that hypoxia induced EMT in NSCLC cells through activation of IGF1R, and that IGF1R inhibition reversed these phenomena. These results suggest a potential role for targeting IGF1R in the prevention of hypoxia-induced cancer progression and metastasis mediated by EMT.

Nguyen DH, Ouyang H, Mao JH, et al.
Distinct luminal-type mammary carcinomas arise from orthotopic Trp53-null mammary transplantation of juvenile versus adult mice.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(23):7149-58 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Age and physiologic status, such as menopause, are risk factors for breast cancer. Less clear is what factors influence the diversity of breast cancer. In this study, we investigated the effect of host age on the distribution of tumor subtypes in mouse mammary chimera consisting of wild-type hosts and Trp53 nullizygous epithelium, which undergoes a high rate of neoplastic transformation. Wild-type mammary glands cleared of endogenous epithelium at 3 weeks of age were subsequently transplanted during puberty (5 weeks) or at maturation (10 weeks) with syngeneic Trp53-null mammary tissue fragments and monitored for one year. Tumors arose sooner from adult hosts (AH) compared with juvenile hosts (JH). However, compared with AH tumors, JH tumors grew several times faster, were more perfused, exhibited a two-fold higher mitotic index, and were more highly positive for insulin-like growth factor receptor phosphorylation. Most tumors in each setting were estrogen receptor (ER)-positive (80% JH vs. 70% AH), but JH tumors were significantly more ER-immunoreactive (P = 0.0001) than AH tumors. A differential expression signature (JvA) of juvenile versus adult tumors revealed a luminal transcriptional program. Centroids of the human homologs of JvA genes showed that JH tumors were more like luminal A tumors and AH tumors were more like luminal B tumors. Hierarchical clustering with the JvA human ortholog gene list segregated luminal A and luminal B breast cancers across datasets. These data support the notion that age-associated host physiology greatly influences the intrinsic subtype of breast cancer.

Fan P, Agboke FA, Cunliffe HE, et al.
A molecular model for the mechanism of acquired tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer.
Eur J Cancer. 2014; 50(16):2866-76 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Oestrogen (E2)-stimulated growth re-emerges after a c-Src inhibitor blocking E2-induced apoptosis. A resulting cell line, MCF-7:PF, is selected with features of functional oestrogen receptor (ER) and over-expression of insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor beta (IGF-1Rβ). We addressed the question of whether the selective ER modulator (SERM), 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT) or other SERMs could target ER to prevent E2-stimulated growth in MCF-7:PF cells.
METHODS: Protein levels of receptors and signalling pathways were examined by immunoblotting. Expression of mRNA was measured through real-time RT-PCR. Recruitment of ER or nuclear receptor coactivator 3 (SRC3) to the promoter of ER-target gene was detected by chromatin-immunoprecipitation (ChIP).
RESULTS: 4-OHT and other SERMs stimulated cell growth in an ER-dependent manner. However, unlike E2, 4-OHT suppressed classical ER-target genes as does the pure antioestrogen ICI 182,780 (ICI). ChIP assay indicated that 4-OHT did not recruit ER or SRC3 to the promoter of ER-target gene, pS2. Paradoxically, 4-OHT reduced total IGF-1Rβ but increased phosphorylation of IGF-1Rβ. Mechanistic studies revealed that 4-OHT functioned as an agonist to enhance the non-genomic activity of ER and activate focal adhesion molecules to further increase phosphorylation of IGF-1Rβ. Disruption of membrane-associated signalling, IGF-1R and focal adhesion kinase (FAK), completely abolished 4-OHT-stimulated cell growth.
CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to recapitulate a cellular model in vitro of acquired tamoxifen resistance developed in athymic mice in vivo. Importantly, it provides a rationale that membrane-associated pathways may be valuable therapeutic targets for tamoxifen resistant patients in clinic.

Lovly CM, McDonald NT, Chen H, et al.
Rationale for co-targeting IGF-1R and ALK in ALK fusion-positive lung cancer.
Nat Med. 2014; 20(9):1027-34 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
Crizotinib, a selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), shows marked activity in patients whose lung cancers harbor fusions in the gene encoding anaplastic lymphoma receptor tyrosine kinase (ALK), but its efficacy is limited by variable primary responses and acquired resistance. In work arising from the clinical observation of a patient with ALK fusion-positive lung cancer who had an exceptional response to an insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R)-specific antibody, we define a therapeutic synergism between ALK and IGF-1R inhibitors. Similar to IGF-1R, ALK fusion proteins bind to the adaptor insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1), and IRS-1 knockdown enhances the antitumor effects of ALK inhibitors. In models of ALK TKI resistance, the IGF-1R pathway is activated, and combined ALK and IGF-1R inhibition improves therapeutic efficacy. Consistent with this finding, the levels of IGF-1R and IRS-1 are increased in biopsy samples from patients progressing on crizotinib monotherapy. Collectively these data support a role for the IGF-1R-IRS-1 pathway in both ALK TKI-sensitive and ALK TKI-resistant states and provide a biological rationale for further clinical development of dual ALK and IGF-1R inhibitors.

Gao S, Bajrami I, Verrill C, et al.
Dsh homolog DVL3 mediates resistance to IGFIR inhibition by regulating IGF-RAS signaling.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(20):5866-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
Drugs that inhibit insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGFI) receptor IGFIR were encouraging in early trials, but predictive biomarkers were lacking and the drugs provided insufficient benefit in unselected patients. In this study, we used genetic screening and downstream validation to identify the WNT pathway element DVL3 as a mediator of resistance to IGFIR inhibition. Sensitivity to IGFIR inhibition was enhanced specifically in vitro and in vivo by genetic or pharmacologic blockade of DVL3. In breast and prostate cancer cells, sensitization tracked with enhanced MEK-ERK activation and relied upon MEK activity and DVL3 expression. Mechanistic investigations showed that DVL3 is present in an adaptor complex that links IGFIR to RAS, which includes Shc, growth factor receptor-bound-2 (Grb2), son-of-sevenless (SOS), and the tumor suppressor DAB2. Dual DVL and DAB2 blockade synergized in activating ERKs and sensitizing cells to IGFIR inhibition, suggesting a nonredundant role for DVL3 in the Shc-Grb2-SOS complex. Clinically, tumors that responded to IGFIR inhibition contained relatively lower levels of DVL3 protein than resistant tumors, and DVL3 levels in tumors correlated inversely with progression-free survival in patients treated with IGFIR antibodies. Because IGFIR does not contain activating mutations analogous to EGFR variants associated with response to EGFR inhibitors, we suggest that IGF signaling achieves an equivalent integration at the postreceptor level through adaptor protein complexes, influencing cellular dependence on the IGF axis and identifying a patient population with potential to benefit from IGFIR inhibition.

Nair V, Sreevalsan S, Basha R, et al.
Mechanism of metformin-dependent inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and Ras activity in pancreatic cancer: role of specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(40):27692-701 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/10/2015 Related Publications
The antidiabetic drug metformin exhibits both chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic activity for multiple cancers including pancreatic cancer; however, the underlying mechanism of action of metformin is unclear. A recent study showed that metformin down-regulated specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors (TFs) Sp1, Sp3, and Sp4 in pancreatic cancer cells and tumors, and this was accompanied by down-regulation of several pro-oncogenic Sp-regulated genes. Treatment with metformin or down-regulation of Sp TFs by RNAi also inhibits two major pro-oncogenic pathways in pancreatic cancer cells, namely mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and epidermal growth factor (EGFR)-dependent activation of Ras. Metformin and Sp knockdown by RNAi decreased expression of the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R), resulting in inhibition of mTOR signaling. Ras activity was also decreased by metformin and Sp knockdown of EGFR, another Sp-regulated gene. Thus, the antineoplastic activities of metformin in pancreatic cancer are due, in part, to down-regulation of Sp TFs and Sp-regulated IGF-1R and EGFR, which in turn results in inhibition of mTOR and Ras signaling, respectively.

Tran TN, Selinger CI, Yu B, et al.
Alterations of insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor gene copy number and protein expression are common in non-small cell lung cancer.
J Clin Pathol. 2014; 67(11):985-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF1R) is a tyrosine kinase membrane receptor involved in tumourigenesis that may be a potential therapeutic target. We aimed to investigate the incidence and prognostic significance of alterations in IGF1R copy number, and IGF1R protein expression in resected primary non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and lymph node metastases.
METHODS: IGF1R gene copy number status was evaluated by chromogenic silver in situ hybridisation and IGF1R protein expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in tissue microarray sections from a retrospective cohort of 309 surgically resected NSCLCs and results were compared with clinicopathological features, including EGFR and KRAS mutational status and patient survival.
RESULTS: IGF1R gene copy number status was positive (high polysomy or amplification) in 29.2% of NSCLC, and 12.1% exhibited IGF1R gene amplification. High IGF1R expression was found in 28.3%. There was a modest correlation between IGF1R gene copy number and protein expression (r=0.2, p<0.05). Alterations of IGF1R gene copy number and protein expression in primary tumours were significantly associated with alterations in lymph node metastases (p<0.01). High IGF1R gene copy number and protein expression was significantly higher in squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) compared with other subtypes of NSCLC (p<0.05). There were no other associations between IGF1R status and other clinicopathological features including patient age, gender, smoking status, tumour size, stage, grade, EGFR or KRAS mutational status or overall survival.
CONCLUSIONS: High IGF1R gene copy number and protein overexpression are frequent in NSCLC, particularly in SCCs, but they are not prognostically relevant.

Sun J, Li W, Sun Y, et al.
A novel antisense long noncoding RNA within the IGF1R gene locus is imprinted in hematopoietic malignancies.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2014; 42(15):9588-601 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/10/2015 Related Publications
Dysregulation of the insulin-like growth factor type I receptor (IGF1R) has been implicated in the progression and therapeutic resistance of malignancies. In acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells, IGF1R is one of the most abundantly phosphorylated receptor tyrosine kinases, promoting cell growth through the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. However, little is known regarding the molecular mechanisms underlying IGF1R gene dysregulation in cancer. We discovered a novel intragenic long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) within the IGF1R locus, named IRAIN, which is transcribed in an antisense direction from an intronic promoter. The IRAIN lncRNA was expressed exclusively from the paternal allele, with the maternal counterpart being silenced. Using both reverse transcription-associated trap and chromatin conformation capture assays, we demonstrate that this lncRNA interacts with chromatin DNA and is involved in the formation of an intrachromosomal enhancer/promoter loop. Knockdown of IRAIN lncRNA with shRNA abolishes this intrachromosomal interaction. In addition, IRAIN was downregulated both in leukemia cell lines and in blood obtained from high-risk AML patients. These data identify IRAIN as a new imprinted lncRNA that is involved in long-range DNA interactions.

Trimarchi T, Bilal E, Ntziachristos P, et al.
Genome-wide mapping and characterization of Notch-regulated long noncoding RNAs in acute leukemia.
Cell. 2014; 158(3):593-606 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 31/07/2015 Related Publications
Notch signaling is a key developmental pathway that is subject to frequent genetic and epigenetic perturbations in many different human tumors. Here we investigate whether long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) genes, in addition to mRNAs, are key downstream targets of oncogenic Notch1 in human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). By integrating transcriptome profiles with chromatin state maps, we have uncovered many previously unreported T-ALL-specific lncRNA genes, a fraction of which are directly controlled by the Notch1/Rpbjκ activator complex. Finally we have shown that one specific Notch-regulated lncRNA, LUNAR1, is required for efficient T-ALL growth in vitro and in vivo due to its ability to enhance IGF1R mRNA expression and sustain IGF1 signaling. These results confirm that lncRNAs are important downstream targets of the Notch signaling pathway, and additionally they are key regulators of the oncogenic state in T-ALL.

Agulló-Ortuño MT, Díaz-García CV, Agudo-López A, et al.
Relevance of insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor gene expression as a prognostic factor in non-small-cell lung cancer.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2015; 141(1):43-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Signalling through the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) is implicated in carcinogenesis, metastasis, and resistance to cytotoxic cancer therapies. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prognostic role of IGF-1R expression in surgically resected non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and responses to IGF-1R tyrosine kinase inhibitor NVP-ADW742 in a panel of lung cancer cell lines.
METHODS: Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) expression was evaluated by quantitative RT-PCR in 115 NSCLC samples and in a panel of 6 NSCLC cell lines. Cytotoxicity experiments with IGF-1R inhibitor and conventional systemic drugs such as paclitaxel in cell lines were realised.
RESULTS: Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) was differentially expressed across histologic subtypes, with the lowest levels observed in squamous cell tumours. Median survival was longer in patients with squamous tumour histology expressing low IGF-1R levels. In multivariable analysis, ageing and high tumour stage were significant predictors of worse overall survival. The hazard of death was lower in patients with squamous histology and low IGF-1R gene expression. There was no correlation between IGF-1R expression and response to tyrosine kinase inhibitor in cell lines tested. However, combination drug treatment resulted in synergistically enhanced antiproliferative effects on several cell lines.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that IGF-1R is a potential target for therapy in NSCLC patients. Combination therapies will have an important role in treatment.

Zhu Z, Xu T, Wang L, et al.
MicroRNA-145 directly targets the insulin-like growth factor receptor I in human bladder cancer cells.
FEBS Lett. 2014; 588(17):3180-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
The insulin-like growth factor receptor I (IGF-IR) is a proto-oncogene with potent mitogenic and antiapoptotic activities. It has been reported that expression of IGF-IR is up-regulated in bladder cancer. Here, we assessed whether microRNA-145 (miR-145) regulates IGF-IR expression in bladder cancer. In our study, miR-145 was shown to directly target IGF-IR 3'-untranslated region (UTR) in human bladder cancer cells. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)- and miR-145-mediated IGF-IR knockdown experiments revealed that miR-145 promotes cell apoptosis, and suppresses cell proliferation and migration through suppression of IGF-IR expression. Taken together, our data suggest that miR-145 may inhibit bladder cancer initiation by affecting IGF-IR signaling.

Heilmann AM, Perera RM, Ecker V, et al.
CDK4/6 and IGF1 receptor inhibitors synergize to suppress the growth of p16INK4A-deficient pancreatic cancers.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(14):3947-58 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/07/2015 Related Publications
Loss-of-function mutations in p16(INK4A) (CDKN2A) occur in approximately 80% of sporadic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), contributing to its early progression. Although this loss activates the cell-cycle-dependent kinases CDK4/6, which have been considered as drug targets for many years, p16(INK4A)-deficient PDAC cells are inherently resistant to CDK4/6 inhibitors. This study searched for targeted therapies that might synergize with CDK4/6 inhibition in this setting. We report that the IGF1R/IR inhibitor BMS-754807 cooperated with the CDK4/6 inhibitor PD-0332991 to strongly block proliferation of p16(INK4A)-deficient PDAC cells in vitro and in vivo. Sensitivity to this drug combination correlated with reduced activity of the master cell growth regulator mTORC1. Accordingly, replacing the IGF1R/IR inhibitor with the rapalog inhibitor temsirolimus broadened the sensitivity of PDAC cells to CDK4/6 inhibition. Our results establish targeted therapy combinations with robust cytostatic activity in p16(INK4A)-deficient PDAC cells and possible implications for improving treatment of a broad spectrum of human cancers characterized by p16(INK4A) loss.

Kang MH, Kim IH, Nam TJ
Phloroglucinol induces apoptosis through the regulation of insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor signaling pathways in human colon cancer HT-29 cells.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(3):1036-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/07/2015 Related Publications
Phloroglucinol is a polyphenol compound with free radical scavenging, anti-inflammatory and antitumor activity. In this study, we investigated the anticancer effects of phloroglucinol on insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) signaling in HT-29 human colon cancer cells. Apoptosis was evaluated using 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining, which clearly demonstrated cell shrinkage and condensed nuclei. Treatment with a pan-caspase inhibitor reduced the expression of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt, which could induce apoptosis through IGF-1R signaling pathways. Treatment with phloroglucinol significantly inhibited the expression of Ras, Raf, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK), extracellular-signal regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation, PI3K and Akt. Phloroglucinol also decreased mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and expression of its downstream effectors p70S6 kinase and translation initiation factors elF4B and RPS6. These results demonstrate that IGF-1R activates PI3K/Akt/mTOR and Ras/ERK-MAPK downstream signaling pathways, which has important implications for understanding the roles of cell growth pathways in colon cancer cell tumorigenesis.

Ou JM, Lian WS, Qiu MK, et al.
Knockdown of IGF2R suppresses proliferation and induces apoptosis in hemangioma cells in vitro and in vivo.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(3):1241-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II)/IGF2R signaling plays a pivotal role in cell growth, migration and differentiation in many malignancies. An individual with high IGF-II expression levels has a high risk of developing cancer, but IGF2R is often considered to be a tumor suppressor. To date, little has been reported about the role of IGF-II/IGF2R signaling in hemangiomas (HAs). Thus, uncovering the mechanisms of IGF-II/IGF2R signaling is very important to understanding the development of HAs. In the present study, the expression of IGF-II and IGF2R was investigated in 27 cases of HAs of different phases by immunohistochemistry. Through lentivirus-mediated IGF2R siRNA (Lv-siIGF2R) in HA-derived endothelial cells (HDECs), we observed the effects of IGF2R knockdown on the biological behavior of HA cells. We found that the expression of IGF-II and IGF2R was significantly increased in proliferating phase HAs, but decreased in involuting phase HAs. Furthermore, knockdown of IGF2R in vitro significantly diminished the proliferative activity and induced apoptosis and cycle arrest with decreased expression of PCNA, Ki-67, Bcl-2, Cyclin D1 and E and increased the expression of Bax in the proliferative phase HAs (HDEC and CRL-2586 EOMA cells). In addition, the tumor volumes in a subcutaneous HDEC nude mouse model treated with Lv-siIGF2R were significantly smaller than those of the control group. Taken together, our findings indicate that the expression of IGF-II and IGF2R is increased in proliferating phase HAs, and knockdown of IGF2R suppresses proliferation and induces apoptosis in HA cells in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that IGF2R may represent a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of human HAs.

Verhagen HJ, de Leeuw DC, Roemer MG, et al.
IGFBP7 induces apoptosis of acute myeloid leukemia cells and synergizes with chemotherapy in suppression of leukemia cell survival.
Cell Death Dis. 2014; 5:e1300 [PubMed] Related Publications
Despite high remission rates after chemotherapy, only 30-40% of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients survive 5 years after diagnosis. This extremely poor prognosis of AML is mainly caused by treatment failure due to chemotherapy resistance. Chemotherapy resistance can be caused by various features including activation of alternative signaling pathways, evasion of cell death or activation of receptor tyrosine kinases such as the insulin growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R). Here we have studied the role of the insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-7 (IGFBP7), a tumor suppressor and part of the IGF-1R axis, in AML. We report that IGFBP7 sensitizes AML cells to chemotherapy-induced cell death. Moreover, overexpression of IGFBP7 as well as addition of recombinant human IGFBP7 is able to reduce the survival of AML cells by the induction of a G2 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. This effect is mainly independent from IGF-1R activation, activated Akt and activated Erk. Importantly, AML patients with high IGFBP7 expression have a better outcome than patients with low IGFBP7 expression, indicating a positive role for IGFBP7 in treatment and outcome of AML. Together, this suggests that the combination of IGFBP7 and chemotherapy might potentially overcome conventional AML drug resistance and thus might improve AML patient survival.

Yadav DS, Chattopadhyay I, Verma A, et al.
A pilot study evaluating genetic alterations that drive tobacco- and betel quid-associated oral cancer in Northeast India.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(9):9317-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
The susceptibility of an individual to oral cancer is mediated by genetic factors and carcinogen-exposure behaviors such as betel quid chewing, tobacco use, and alcohol consumption. This pilot study was aimed to identify the genetic alteration in 100 bp upstream and downstream flanking regions in addition to the exonic regions of 169 cancer-associated genes by using Next Generation sequencing with aim to elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of tobacco- and betel quid-associated oral cancer of Northeast India. To understand the role of chemical compounds present in tobacco and betel quid associated with the progression of oral cancer, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertion and deletion (Indels) found in this study were analyzed for their association with chemical compounds found in tobacco and betel quid using Comparative Toxogenomic Database. Genes (AR, BRCA1, IL8, and TP53) with novel SNP were found to be associated with arecoline which is the major component of areca nut. Genes (BARD1, BRCA2, CCND2, IGF1R, MSH6, and RASSF1) with novel deletion and genes (APC, BRMS1, CDK2AP1, CDKN2B, GAS1, IGF1R, and RB1) with novel insertion were found to be associated with aflatoxin B1 which is produced by fermented areca nut. Genes (ADH6, APC, AR, BARD1, BRMS1, CDKN1A, E2F1, FGFR4, FLNC, HRAS, IGF1R, IL12B, IL8, NBL1, STAT5B, and TP53) with novel SNP were found to be associated with aflatoxin B1. Genes (ATM, BRCA1, CDKN1A, EGFR, IL8, and TP53) with novel SNP were found to be associated with tobacco specific nitrosamines.

Shen K, Mao R, Ma L, et al.
Post-transcriptional regulation of the tumor suppressor miR-139-5p and a network of miR-139-5p-mediated mRNA interactions in colorectal cancer.
FEBS J. 2014; 281(16):3609-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs play key roles in many biological processes, and are frequently dysregulated in tumor cells. However, there are few studies on how microRNAs are dysregulated. miR-139-5p, an important tumor suppressor, is often underexpressed in gastrointestinal cancer cells. Here, we describe post-transcriptional regulation of this intronic microRNA in human colorectal cancer. miR-139-5p is expressed independently of its overexpressed host gene PDE2A in colorectal cancer tissues and cell lines. The miR-139-5p target genes IGF1R, ROCK2 and RAP1B exert regulatory effects on the miR-139-5p expression level, relying on their ability to compete for miR-139-5p binding. These overexpressed target genes also regulate each others' protein levels through 3'-UTRs, thus regulating tumor cell growth and motility properties. Our study provides a mechanistic, experimentally validated rationale for intronic microRNA dysregulation in colorectal cancer, revealing novel oncogenic roles of IGF1R, ROCK2 and RAP1B 3'-UTRs.

Mortus JR, Zhang Y, Hughes DP
Developmental pathways hijacked by osteosarcoma.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014; 804:93-118 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer of any type often can be described by an arrest, alteration or disruption in the normal development of a tissue or organ, and understanding of the normal counterpart's development can aid in understanding the malignant state. This is certainly true for osteosarcoma and the normal developmental pathways that guide osteoblast development that are changed in the genesis of osteogenic sarcoma. A carefully regulated crescendo-decrescendo expression of RUNX2 accompanies the transition from mesenchymal stem cell to immature osteoblast to mature osteoblast. This pivotal role is controlled by several pathways, including bone morphogenic protein (BMP), Wnt/β-catenin, fibroblast growth factor (FGF), and protein kinase C (PKC). The HIPPO pathway and its downstream target YAP help to regulate proliferation of immature osteoblasts and their maturation into non-proliferating mature osteoblasts. This pathway also helps regulate expression of the mature osteoblast protein osteocalcin. YAP also regulates expression of MT1-MMP, a membrane-bound matrix metalloprotease responsible for remodeling the extracellular matrix surrounding the osteoblasts. YAP, in turn, can be regulated by the ERBB family protein Her-4. Osteosarcoma may be thought of as a cell held at the immature osteoblast stage, retaining some of the characteristics of that developmental stage. Disruptions of several of these pathways have been described in osteosarcoma, including BMP, Wnt/b-catenin, RUNX2, HIPPO/YAP, and Her-4. Further, PKC can be activated by several receptor tyrosine kinases implicated in osteosarcoma, including the ERBB family (EGFR, Her-2 and Her-4 in osteosarcoma), IGF1R, FGF, and others. Understanding these functions may aid in the understanding the mechanisms underpinning clinical observations in osteosarcoma, including both the lytic and blastic phenotypes of tumors, the invasiveness of the disease, and the tendency for treated tumors to ossify rather than shrink. Through a better understanding of the relationship between normal osteoblast development and osteosarcoma, we may gain insights into novel therapeutic avenues and improved outcomes.

Wang X, Wang Y, Lan H, Li J
MiR-195 inhibits the growth and metastasis of NSCLC cells by targeting IGF1R.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(9):8765-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs which act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors in multiple human cancers. Accumulating evidence reveals that aberrant expression of miRNAs contributes to the development and progression of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Here, we identified miR-195 as a tumor suppressor in NSCLC cells, whose expression level was dramatically decreased in both NSCLC tissues and cell lines. Ectopic expression of miR-195 suppressed NSCLC cell proliferation and metastasis-related traits in vitro. Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) was identified as a direct target of miR-195 in NSCLC cells. Furthermore, restoration of IGF1R remarkably attenuated the tumor suppressive effects of miR-195 on NSCLC cells. Our data suggest that miR-195 may be involved in the carcinogenesis of NSCLC partially by targeting IGF1R.

Schanzer JM, Wartha K, Croasdale R, et al.
A novel glycoengineered bispecific antibody format for targeted inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and insulin-like growth factor receptor type I (IGF-1R) demonstrating unique molecular properties.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(27):18693-706 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 04/07/2015 Related Publications
In the present study, we have developed a novel one-arm single chain Fab heterodimeric bispecific IgG (OAscFab-IgG) antibody format targeting the insulin-like growth factor receptor type I (IGF-1R) and the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) with one binding site for each target antigen. The bispecific antibody XGFR is based on the "knob-into-hole" technology for heavy chain heterodimerization with one heavy chain consisting of a single chain Fab to prevent wrong pairing of light chains. XGFR was produced with high expression yields and showed simultaneous binding to IGF-1R and EGFR with high affinity. Due to monovalent binding of XGFR to IGF-1R, IGF-1R internalization was strongly reduced compared with the bivalent parental antibody, leading to enhanced Fc-mediated cellular cytotoxicity. To further increase immune effector functions triggered by XGFR, the Fc portion of the bispecific antibody was glycoengineered, which resulted in strong antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity activity. XGFR-mediated inhibition of IGF-1R and EGFR phosphorylation as well as A549 tumor cell proliferation was highly effective and was comparable with a combined treatment with EGFR (GA201) and IGF-1R (R1507) antibodies. XGFR also demonstrated potent anti-tumor efficacy in multiple mouse xenograft tumor models with a complete growth inhibition of AsPC1 human pancreatic tumors and improved survival of SCID beige mice carrying A549 human lung tumors compared with treatment with antibodies targeting either IGF-1R or EGFR. In summary, we have applied rational antibody engineering technology to develop a heterodimeric OAscFab-IgG bispecific antibody, which combines potent signaling inhibition with antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity induction and results in superior molecular properties over two established tetravalent bispecific formats.

Li XX, Huang LY, Peng JJ, et al.
Klotho suppresses growth and invasion of colon cancer cells through inhibition of IGF1R-mediated PI3K/AKT pathway.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(2):611-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Klotho (KL) was originally characterized as an aging suppressor gene, and has been identified as a tumor suppressor gene in a variety of cancers including colon cancer. However, the potential role and molecular events for KL in colon cancer remain unclear. The present study aimed to investigate the expression of KL in human colon cancer by immunohistochemistry, and to analyze the correlation between KL expression and clinicopathological characteristics of patients with colon cancer. Functional analysis after lentivirus-mediated gain of KL expression was used to assess the tumor growth and invasion in colon cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. The rate of KL expression was significantly decreased in cancer tissues compared with that in adjacent non-cancer tissues (ANCT) (60.3 vs.77.9%, P=0.022), and KL expression was negatively associated with Dukes staging (P=0.034) and depth of tumor invasion (P=0.008). Overexpression of KL in vitro inhibited cell proliferative activities and invasive potential in colon cancer cells, companied with decreased expression of p-IGF1R, p-PI3K, p-AKT, PCNA and MMP-2. In addition, the tumor volumes in the HT-29 subcutaneous tumor model treated with lentivirus‑mediated KL vector (Lv-KL) was significantly smaller than those of the negative control (NC) group (P<0.01). Taken together, our findings indicate that the expression of KL is downregulated in human colon caner and correlates with tumor invasion and Dukes staging, while overexpression of KL suppresses growth and invasion through inhibition of IGF1R-mediated PI3K/AKT pathway in colon cancer cells, suggesting that KL may serve as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of colon cancer.

Pineda S, Milne RL, Calle ML, et al.
Genetic variation in the TP53 pathway and bladder cancer risk. a comprehensive analysis.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e89952 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 04/07/2015 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Germline variants in TP63 have been consistently associated with several tumors, including bladder cancer, indicating the importance of TP53 pathway in cancer genetic susceptibility. However, variants in other related genes, including TP53 rs1042522 (Arg72Pro), still present controversial results. We carried out an in depth assessment of associations between common germline variants in the TP53 pathway and bladder cancer risk.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We investigated 184 tagSNPs from 18 genes in 1,058 cases and 1,138 controls from the Spanish Bladder Cancer/EPICURO Study. Cases were newly-diagnosed bladder cancer patients during 1998-2001. Hospital controls were age-gender, and area matched to cases. SNPs were genotyped in blood DNA using Illumina Golden Gate and TaqMan assays. Cases were subphenotyped according to stage/grade and tumor p53 expression. We applied classical tests to assess individual SNP associations and the Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO)-penalized logistic regression analysis to assess multiple SNPs simultaneously.
RESULTS: Based on classical analyses, SNPs in BAK1 (1), IGF1R (5), P53AIP1 (1), PMAIP1 (2), SERINPB5 (3), TP63 (3), and TP73 (1) showed significant associations at p-value≤0.05. However, no evidence of association, either with overall risk or with specific disease subtypes, was observed after correction for multiple testing (p-value≥0.8). LASSO selected the SNP rs6567355 in SERPINB5 with 83% of reproducibility. This SNP provided an OR = 1.21, 95%CI 1.05-1.38, p-value = 0.006, and a corrected p-value = 0.5 when controlling for over-estimation.
DISCUSSION: We found no strong evidence that common variants in the TP53 pathway are associated with bladder cancer susceptibility. Our study suggests that it is unlikely that TP53 Arg72Pro is implicated in the UCB in white Europeans. SERPINB5 and TP63 variation deserve further exploration in extended studies.

Gao L, Wang X, Wang X, et al.
IGF-1R, a target of let-7b, mediates crosstalk between IRS-2/Akt and MAPK pathways to promote proliferation of oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(9):2562-74 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 04/07/2015 Related Publications
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling is involved in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), but IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R)-mediated intricate regulatory networks among molecular interactions and signalling path ways in OSCC remain unclear. Here, we found that overexpression of IGF-1R and insulin receptor substrate-2 (IRS-2) was negatively associated with histological differentiation. IGF signaling stimulated OSCC cell growth. Conversely, overexpression of let-7b inhibited proliferation and colony formation and triggered S/G2 cell cycle arrest by targeting IGF-1R and IRS-2 through the Akt pathway. Also, the inverse relationship between expression of let-7b and IGF-1R/IRS-2 was confirmed in OSCC tumor xenografts and clinical specimens. Furthermore, by activating ERK1/2, IGF-1R transcriptionally upregulated IRS-2. Our results indicate that let-7b/IGF-1R-mediated crosstalk between IRS-2/Akt and MAPK is involved in OSCC and is a potential therapeutic target for therapy.

Prebil LA, Ereman RR, Powell MJ, et al.
First pregnancy events and future breast density: modification by age at first pregnancy and specific VEGF and IGF1R gene variants.
Cancer Causes Control. 2014; 25(7):859-68 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 04/07/2015 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Pregnancy characteristics have been associated with breast cancer risk, but information is limited on their relationship with breast density. Our objective was to examine the relationship between first pregnancy characteristics and later life breast density, and whether the association is modified by genotype.
METHODS: The Marin Women's Study was initiated to examine breast cancer in a high-incidence mammography population (Marin County, CA). Reproductive characteristics and pregnancy information including pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) were self-reported at the time of mammography. Forty-seven candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms were obtained from saliva samples; seven were assessed in relation to PIH and percent fibroglandular volume (%FGV). Breast density assessed as %FGV was measured on full-field digital mammograms by the San Francisco Mammography Registry.
RESULTS: A multivariable regression model including 2,440 parous women showed that PIH during first pregnancy was associated with a statistically significant decrease in %FGV (b = -0.31, 95 % CI -0.52, -0.11), while each month of breast-feeding after first birth was associated with a statistically significant increase in %FGV (b = 0.01, 95% CI 0.003, 0.02). PIH and breast-feeding associations with %FGV were modified by age at first birth. In a subsample of 1,240 women, there was evidence of modification in the association between PIH and %FGV by specific vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) (rs3025039) and insulin growth factor receptor-1 (IGFR1) (rs2016347) gene variants.
CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that first pregnancy characteristics may exert an influence on extent of breast density later in life and that this influence may vary depending on inherited IGFR1 and VEGF genotypes.

Reinmuth N, Kloos S, Warth A, et al.
Insulin-like growth factor 1 pathway mutations and protein expression in resected non-small cell lung cancer.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(6):1162-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The purpose of this study was to characterize the prevalence of insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) mutations, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP), and protein overexpression in surgically resected non-small cell lung cancers in relation to patient characteristics and prognosis. This retrospective study was conducted on 304 patients with non-small cell lung cancers who underwent curative pulmonary resection (median follow-up for surviving patients, 3.6 years). IGF1R gene alterations (n = 304) and protein expression (n = 181) were evaluated by polymerase chain reaction-based assays and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Membranous and cytoplasmic staining were analyzed separately. In an exploratory analysis, 1 silent mutation in exon 16 and 3 mutations in introns of the IGF1R gene comprising the tyrosine kinase domain were detected. Moreover, evaluating selected IGF1R SNPs, patients with adenocarcinomas and homozygous for the rs8038415 T-allele had a significantly better survival (P = .025) but no different disease-free survival. Regarding expression, membranous but not cytoplasmic IGF1R staining was higher in squamous cell carcinomas versus other histologies (P < .0001) and showed a trend to longer survival (P = .08). No association between SNP variations and protein expression was found. Membranous IGF1R protein expression is higher in squamous cell versus other histologies but does not correlate with prognosis. SNPs and mutations can be detected and may harbor prognostic value. These alterations may be of interest when evaluating the IGF1R as potential therapeutic target and should receive further research.

Jiang B, Gu Y, Chen Y
Identification of novel predictive markers for the prognosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Cancer Invest. 2014; 32(6):218-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study demonstrated that klotho gene expression was significantly lower whereas miR-504 and phospho-IGF-1R levels were significantly higher in PDAC than in normal pancreatic tissues. miR-504 level significantly correlated with klotho mRNA and promoter methylation level in PDACs. Loss of Klotho protein expression, klotho promoter hypermethylation, high miR-504 levels, and high phospho-IGF-1R levels significantly correlated with poor survival, high clinical and pathological stages in PDAC patients. The demethylation reagent and miR-504 inhibitor increased klotho gene expression, invasion, and migration in BxPC-3 and Panc-1 cells. Klotho is a tumor suppressor whose expression in PDAC correlated with progression and prognosis of PDAC.

Sciacca L, Cassarino MF, Genua M, et al.
Biological effects of insulin and its analogs on cancer cells with different insulin family receptor expression.
J Cell Physiol. 2014; 229(11):1817-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hyperinsulinemia is a likely cause of the increased cancer incidence and mortality in diabetic patients, but its role is difficult to define in vivo. Previous in vitro studies testing the mitogenic potential of insulin and its analogs provided incomplete and sometimes contradictory results. To better evaluate cancer cell responsiveness to insulin, to its analogs and to IGF-I, we measured under identical experimental conditions cell proliferation, invasiveness, and foci formation in six cancer cell lines with different insulin receptor family expression levels. The cancer cells studied have a different expression of insulin receptor (IR), its isoforms (IR-A and IR-B), and of the IGF-I receptor. The data indicate that insulin stimulates proliferation in all cancer cell lines, invasiveness in some, and foci formation in none. Cancer cell responses to insulin (and IGF-I) are not related to receptor expression levels; moreover, hormone-stimulated proliferation and invasiveness are not correlated. IGF-I is a more potent stimulator than insulin in most but not all cancer cell lines. Insulin analogs including M1 and M2 Glargine metabolites stimulate cancer cells similar to insulin. However, exceptions occur for specific analogs in particular cancer cells. In conclusion, in vitro insulin is an effective growth factor for all cancer cells but the biological response to insulin cannot be predicted on the basis of receptor expression levels. In the clinical setting, these observations should be taken in account when deciding treatment for diabetic patients who are at risk of undiscovered cancer or survivors of oncological diseases.

Rao W, Li H, Song F, et al.
OVA66 increases cell growth, invasion and survival via regulation of IGF-1R-MAPK signaling in human cancer cells.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(7):1573-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ovarian cancer-associated antigen 66 (OVA66), also known as CML66 (GenBank Accession No. AF283301), was first identified in an ovarian carcinoma complementary DNA (cDNA) expression library and was shown to play a role in tumorigenesis. Here, we find that OVA66 influences tumorigenesis by regulating the type I insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R) signaling pathway. Stable knockdown of OVA66 in cancer cells attenuated phosphorylation of IGF-1R and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2)-Hsp27; similarly, a higher level of p-IGF-1R and ERK1/2-Hsp27 signaling was also detected after OVA66 overexpression in HO8910 cells. In vivo knockdown of OVA66 both reduced tumor burden in nude mice and decreased phosphorylation of IGF-1R, ERK1/2 and hsp27. We blocked IGF-1R function both by small interfering RNA (siRNA) and with the chemical inhibitor Linsitinib (OSI-906). By either method, tumorigenesis was inhibited regardless of OVA66 expression; thus, mechanistically, IGF-1R, probably, lies downstream of OVA66 in cancer cells. We also found that OVA66 regulates expression of murine double minute 2 (MDM2); this attenuates ubiquitination of IGF-1R in response to IGF-1 stimulation and promotes active ERK1/2 signaling. Thus, we propose that combined overexpression of OVA66 and MDM2 promotes oncogenesis by enhancing activation of the IGF-1R-ERK1/2 signaling pathway.

Xu JW, Wang TX, You L, et al.
Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) as a target of MiR-497 and plasma IGF-1R levels associated with TNM stage of pancreatic cancer.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e92847 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 04/07/2015 Related Publications
The expression levels and regulatory roles of miR-497 in pancreatic cancer are unclear. The clinical value of plasma insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) in pancreatic cancers has not been investigated. In the present study, we demonstrated that miR-497 was significantly downregulated in pancreatic cancer tissues. Upregulation of miR-497 in BxPC-3 and AsPC-1 pancreatic cancer cell lines inhibited proliferation, enhanced apoptosis, re-sensitized cells to gemcitabine and suppressed IGF-1R and p-AKT expression through direct downregulation of IGF-1R protein expression. Opposite effects were observed after downregulation of miR-497. Plasma IGF-1R levels in patients with pancreatic cancer increased significantly, compared with that in patients with chronic pancreatitis, other pancreatic tumors and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (P = 0.006, P = 0.018 and P = 0.004, respectively), and displayed potential values for distinguishing pancreatic lesions. However, the levels in pancreatic cancer patients were comparable to that in healthy volunteers (P = 0.095). The tumor locations and TNM stage were associated with plasma IGF-1R levels (P = 0.013 and P = 0.01, respectively). There was no significant difference of overall survival between high and low IGF-1R expression groups. In conclusion, we demonstrated that miR-497 attenuated the malignancy of pancreatic cancer cells and promoted sensitivity of cells to gemcitabine by directly downregulation of IGF-1R expression. Plasma IGF-1R displayed a potential value for distinguishing pancreatic lesions and could be a new biomarker for guiding TNM stage of pancreatic cancer.

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