Gene Summary

Gene:IGF2; insulin-like growth factor 2
Aliases: IGF-II, PP9974, C11orf43
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the insulin family of polypeptide growth factors, which are involved in development and growth. It is an imprinted gene, expressed only from the paternal allele, and epigenetic changes at this locus are associated with Wilms tumour, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, rhabdomyosarcoma, and Silver-Russell syndrome. A read-through INS-IGF2 gene exists, whose 5' region overlaps the INS gene and the 3' region overlaps this gene. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Oct 2010]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:insulin-like growth factor II
Source:NCBIAccessed: 27 February, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

The loss of imprinting of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) and an overexpression of this growth factor gene have been reported in a wide range of cancers, particularly in Wilms' tumour.

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 27 February 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 27 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (9)

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: IGF2 (cancer-related)

Ema A, Yamashita K, Ushiku H, et al.
Immunohistochemical analysis of RTKs expression identified HER3 as a prognostic indicator of gastric cancer.
Cancer Sci. 2014; 105(12):1591-600 [PubMed] Related Publications
Standard treatment in Japan for the 13th Japanese Gastric Cancer Association stage II/III advanced gastric cancer is postoperative adjuvant S-1 administration after curative surgery. High expression of receptor type tyrosine kinases (RTKs) has repeatedly represented poor prognosis for cancers. However it has not been demonstrated whether RTKs have prognostic relevance for stage II/III gastric cancer with standard treatment. Tumor tissues were obtained from 167 stage II/III advanced gastric cancer patients who underwent curative surgery and received postoperative S-1 chemotherapy from 2000 to 2010. Expression of the RTKs including EGFR, HER2, HER3, IGF-1R, and EphA2 was analyzed using immunohistochemistry (IHC). Analysis using a multivariate proportional hazard model identified the most significant RTKs that represented independent prognostic relevance. When tumor HER3 expression was classified into IHC 1+/2+ (n = 98) and IHC 0 (n = 69), the cumulative 5-year Relapse Free Survival (5y-RFS) was 56.5 and 82.9%, respectively (P = 0.0034). Significant prognostic relevance was similarly confirmed for IGF-1R (P = 0.014), and EGFR (P = 0.030), but not for EphA2 or HER2 expression. Intriguingly, HER3 expression was closely correlated with IGF-1R (P < 0.0001, R = 0.41), and EphA2 (P < 0.0001, R = 0.34) expression. Multivariate proportional hazard model analysis identified HER3 (IHC 1+/2+) (HR; 1.53, 95% CI, 1.11-2.16, P = 0.0078) as the sole RTK that was a poor prognostic factor independent of stage. Of the 53 patients who recurred, 40 patients (75.5%) were HER3-positive. Thus, of the RTKs studied, HER3 was the only RTK identified as an independent prognostic indicator of stage II/III advanced gastric cancer with standard treatment.

Philip PA, Goldman B, Ramanathan RK, et al.
Dual blockade of epidermal growth factor receptor and insulin-like growth factor receptor-1 signaling in metastatic pancreatic cancer: phase Ib and randomized phase II trial of gemcitabine, erlotinib, and cixutumumab versus gemcitabine plus erlotinib (SWOG S0727).
Cancer. 2014; 120(19):2980-5 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Targeting a single pathway in pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PC) is unlikely to affect its natural history. We tested the hypothesis that simulataneous targeting of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and insulin-like growth factor receptor-1 (IGF-1R) pathways would significantly improve progression-free survival (PFS) by abrogating reciprocal signaling that promote drug resistance
METHODS: This was a phase Ib/II study testing cixutumumab, combined with erlotinib and gemcitabine (G) in patients with untreated metastatic PC. The control arm was erlotinib plus G. The primary end point was PFS. Eligibility included performance status 0/1 and normal fasting blood glucose. Polymorphisms in genes involved in G metabolism and in the EGFR pathway were also studied
RESULTS: The phase I results (n = 10) established the safety of cixutumumab 6 mg/kg/week intravenously, erlotinib 100 mg/day orally, and G 1000 mg/m(2) intravenously on days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day cycle. In the RP2 portion (116 eligible patients; median age, 63), the median PFS and overall survival (OS) were 3.6 and 7.0 months, respectively, on the cixutumumab arm, and 3.6 and 6.7 months, respecively, on the control arm. Major grades 3 and 4 toxicities with cixutumumab and control were elevation of transaminases, 12% and 6%, respectively; fatigue, 16% and 12%, respectively; gastrointestinal, 35% and 28%, respectively; neutropenia, 21% and 10%, respectively; and thrombocytopenia, 16% and 7%, respecively. Grade 3/4 hyperglycemia was seen in 16% of patients on cixutumumab. Grade 3 or 4 skin toxicity was similar in both arms of the study (< 5%). No significant differences in PFS by genotype were seen for any of the polymorphisms.
CONCLUSIONS: Adding the IGF-1R inhibitor cixutumumab to erlotinib and G did not lead to longer PFS or OS in metastatic PC.

Tian F, Yourek G, Shi X, Yang Y
The development of Wilms tumor: from WT1 and microRNA to animal models.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1846(1):180-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Wilms tumor recapitulates the development of the kidney and represents a unique opportunity to understand the relationship between normal and tumor development. This has been illustrated by the findings that mutations of Wnt/β-catenin pathway-related WT1, β-catenin, and WTX together account for about one-third of Wilms tumor cases. While intense efforts are being made to explore the genetic basis of the other two-thirds of tumor cases, it is worth noting that, epigenetic changes, particularly the loss of imprinting of the DNA region encoding the major fetal growth factor IGF2, which results in its biallelic over-expression, are closely associated with the development of many Wilms tumors. Recent investigations also revealed that mutations of Drosha and Dicer, the RNases required for miRNA generation, and Dis3L2, the 3'-5' exonuclease that normally degrades miRNAs and mRNAs, could cause predisposition to Wilms tumors, demonstrating that miRNA can play a pivotal role in Wilms tumor development. Interestingly, Lin28, a direct target of miRNA let-7 and potent regulator of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, is significantly elevated in some Wilms tumors, and enforced expression of Lin28 during kidney development could induce Wilms tumor. With the success in establishing mice nephroblastoma models through over-expressing IGF2 and deleting WT1, and advances in understanding the ENU-induced rat model, we are now able to explore the molecular and cellular mechanisms induced by these genetic, epigenetic, and miRNA alterations in animal models to understand the development of Wilms tumor. These animal models may also serve as valuable systems to assess new treatment targets and strategies for Wilms tumor.

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.

Duregon E, Rapa I, Votta A, et al.
MicroRNA expression patterns in adrenocortical carcinoma variants and clinical pathologic correlations.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(8):1555-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Several microRNAs (miRNAs) were shown to be deregulated in adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) as compared with adenoma, but a detailed assessment of their expression in its histologic variants and correlation with clinicopathologic characteristics has not been performed, so far. Our aim was to assess the expression of 5 selected miRNAs (IGF2 gene-related miR-483-3p and 5p and hypoxia-induced miR-210, miR-195, and miR-1974) in a series of 51 ACCs (35 classical, 6 myxoid, and 10 oncocytic) as compared with clinical and pathologic features and immunohistochemical expression of prognostic markers, including steroidogenic factor 1, p53, β-catenin, and glucose transporter 1. Oncocytic carcinomas had a reduced expression of miR-483-3p (P = .0325), miR-483-5p (P = .0175), and miR-210 (P = .0366), as compared with other histotypes. Overexpression of miR-210 was associated with the presence of necrosis (P = .0035), high Ki-67 index (P = .0013), and high glucose transporter 1 expression (P = .0043), whereas an inverse correlation with mitotic rate was observed in cases with high miR-493-3p (P = .0191) and miR-1974 (P = .0017) expression. High miR-1974 was also associated with low Ki-67 (P = .0312) and European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumors stage (P = .0082) and negative p53 (P = .0013). At univariate analysis myxoid/classic histotype (P = .026), high miR-210 (P = .0465), high steroidogenic factor 1 protein (P = .0017), high Ki-67 (P = .0066), and high mitotic index (P = .0006) were significantly associated the shorter overall survival, the latter being the sole independent prognostic factor at multivariate analysis (P = .017). In conclusion, (a) miR-483-3p, miR-483-5p, and miR-210 are differentially expressed in ACC variants, and (b) high miR-210 is associated with clinicopathologic parameters of aggressiveness and a poor prognosis.

Liu X, Ye H, Li L, et al.
Humoral autoimmune responses to insulin-like growth factor II mRNA-binding proteins IMP1 and p62/IMP2 in ovarian cancer.
J Immunol Res. 2014; 2014:326593 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Ovarian cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths among women. There is an urgent need of better approaches for the identification of appropriate biomarkers in the early detection of ovarian cancer. The aim of this study was to elucidate the significance of autoantibodies against insulin-like growth factor II mRNA-binding proteins (IMPs) in patients with ovarian cancer. In this study, autoantibody responses to two members (IMP1 and p62/IMP2) of IMPs were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), western blotting, and indirect immunofluorescence assay in sera from patients with ovarian cancer and normal human individuals. The results have demonstrated that both IMP1 and p62/IMP2 can induce relatively higher frequency of autoantibody responses in patients with ovarian cancer (26.5% and 29.4%) compared to normal individuals (P<0.01). Our preliminary data suggest that IMP1 and p62/IMP2 can stimulate autoimmune responses in ovarian cancer, and anti-IMP1 and anti-p62/IMP2 autoantibodies could be used as potential biomarkers in immunodiagnosis of ovarian cancer.

Shiovitz S, Bertagnolli MM, Renfro LA, et al.
CpG island methylator phenotype is associated with response to adjuvant irinotecan-based therapy for stage III colon cancer.
Gastroenterology. 2014; 147(3):637-45 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: The CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), defined by a high frequency of aberrantly methylated genes, is a characteristic of a subclass of colon tumors with distinct clinical and molecular features. Cohort studies have produced conflicting results on responses of CIMP-positive tumors to chemotherapy. We assessed the association between tumor CIMP status and survival of patients receiving adjuvant fluorouracil and leucovorin alone or with irinotecan (IFL).
METHODS: We analyzed data from patients with stage III colon adenocarcinoma randomly assigned to groups given fluorouracil and leucovorin or IFL after surgery, from April 1999 through April 2001. The primary end point of the trial was overall survival and the secondary end point was disease-free survival. DNA isolated from available tumor samples (n = 615) was used to determine CIMP status based on methylation patterns at the CACNA1G, IGF2, NEUROG1, RUNX3, and SOCS1 loci. The effects of CIMP on survival were modeled using Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards; interactions with treatment and BRAF, KRAS, and mismatch repair (MMR) status were also investigated.
RESULTS: Of the tumor samples characterized for CIMP status, 145 were CIMP positive (23%). Patients with CIMP-positive tumors had shorter overall survival times than patients with CIMP-negative tumors (hazard ratio = 1.36; 95% confidence interval: 1.01-1.84). Treatment with IFL showed a trend toward increased overall survival for patients with CIMP-positive tumors, compared with treatment with fluorouracil and leucovorin (hazard ratio = 0.62; 95% CI: 0.37-1.05; P = .07), but not for patients with CIMP-negative tumors (hazard ratio = 1.38; 95% CI: 1.00-1.89; P = .049). In a 3-way interaction analysis, patients with CIMP-positive, MMR-intact tumors benefited most from the addition of irinotecan to fluorouracil and leucovorin therapy (for the interaction, P = .01). CIMP was more strongly associated with response to IFL than MMR status. Results for disease-free survival times were comparable among all analyses.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with stage III, CIMP-positive, MMR-intact colon tumors have longer survival times when irinotecan is added to combination therapy with fluorouracil and leucovorin.

Cao Y, Lindström S, Schumacher F, et al.
Insulin-like growth factor pathway genetic polymorphisms, circulating IGF1 and IGFBP3, and prostate cancer survival.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(6):dju085 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling pathway has been implicated in prostate cancer (PCa) initiation, but its role in progression remains unknown.
METHODS: Among 5887 PCa patients (704 PCa deaths) of European ancestry from seven cohorts in the National Cancer Institute Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium, we conducted Cox kernel machine pathway analysis to evaluate whether 530 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 26 IGF pathway-related genes were collectively associated with PCa mortality. We also conducted SNP-specific analysis using stratified Cox models adjusting for multiple testing. In 2424 patients (313 PCa deaths), we evaluated the association of prediagnostic circulating IGF1 and IGFBP3 levels and PCa mortality. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: The IGF signaling pathway was associated with PCa mortality (P = .03), and IGF2-AS and SSTR2 were the main contributors (both P = .04). In SNP-specific analysis, 36 SNPs were associated with PCa mortality with P trend less than .05, but only three SNPs in the IGF2-AS remained statistically significant after gene-based corrections. Two were in linkage disequilibrium (r 2 = 1 for rs1004446 and rs3741211), whereas the third, rs4366464, was independent (r 2 = 0.03). The hazard ratios (HRs) per each additional risk allele were 1.19 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.06 to 1.34; P trend = .003) for rs3741211 and 1.44 (95% CI = 1.20 to 1.73; P trend < .001) for rs4366464. rs4366464 remained statistically significant after correction for all SNPs (P trend.corr = .04). Prediagnostic IGF1 (HRhighest vs lowest quartile = 0.71; 95% CI = 0.48 to 1.04) and IGFBP3 (HR = 0.93; 95% CI = 0.65 to 1.34) levels were not associated with PCa mortality.
CONCLUSIONS: The IGF signaling pathway, primarily IGF2-AS and SSTR2 genes, may be important in PCa survival.

Rüping K, Altendorf-Hofmann A, Chen Y, et al.
High IGF2 and FGFR3 are associated with tumour progression in undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas, but EGFR and FGFR3 mutations are a rare event.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2014; 140(8):1315-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Pleomorphic undifferentiated sarcomas (formerly known as malignant fibrous histiocytomas) are recognised by the actual WHO classification as an undifferentiated, unclassifiable category of pleomorphic sarcomas which show no definable line of differentiation and are still a diagnosis of exclusion. Therefore, diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic options of these tumours are urgently needed.
METHODS: Three hundred and twenty-seven spindle cell tumours of a German consultation and reference centre of soft tissue tumours consisting of 200 undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas (UPS), 45 low-grade sarcomas (10 low-grade fibromyxoid sarcomas, 32 low-grade myofibroblastic sarcomas and three myxoinflammatory fibroblastic sarcomas) and 82 tumours of the fasciitis family were revisited. The specimens were analysed immunohistochemically with distinct markers including tyrosine kinases and expression correlated with clinicopathological parameters. Additionally, mutational analysis was performed on specimens with high expression of EGFR and FGFR3.
RESULTS: At the protein level high IGF2 expression was observed in 86 %, FGFR3 (69 %), PDGFRA (62 %), PDGFRB (39 %), FGFR1 (8 %), EGFR (5 %), KDR/VEGFR2 (3 %), ALK (0 %) and high Ki67 (63 %) in UPS. High expressions of IGF2 and FGFR3 are significantly correlated with a higher grading (p = 0.023 and p = 0.016, respectively) and a high Ki67 index (p = 0.017 and p = 0.001, respectively). No mutations were found in the hot spots of tumour specimens with a high expression of EGFR gene (exons 18-21) and FGFR3 gene (exons 7, 10 and 15).
CONCLUSIONS: High expressions of IGF2 and FGFR3 are significantly associated with tumour progression, grading and Ki67 and might classify a subgroup of undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma. These markers might guide targeted therapies in these neoplasms.

Chu TY, Yang JT, Huang TH, Liu HW
Crosstalk with cancer-associated fibroblasts increases the growth and radiation survival of cervical cancer cells.
Radiat Res. 2014; 181(5):540-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Crosstalk between cancer cells and the surrounding cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) plays an illusive role in cancer radiotherapy. This study investigated the effect of cancer cell-cancer associated fibroblasts crosstalk on the proliferation and survival of irradiated cervical cancer cells. A pretreatment with conditioned medium from a mixed culture of CAF and HeLa cells (mixCAF) had a stronger effect on enhancing the proliferation and survival of irradiated HeLa cells compared to pretreatment with CAF conditioned medium alone. In addition, pretreatment with a mixed culture of CAF and HeLa cells conditioned medium reduced the levels of two major radiation-induced genes, GADD45 and BTG2, and phosphorylation of p38. Profiling of the growth and survival factors in the conditioned medium revealed PDGF and VEGF, and IGF2, EGF, FGF-4, IGFBPs and GM-CSF to be specifically secreted from HeLa cells and CAFs, respectively. This study demonstrated radiation protective effects of CAF-cancer cell crosstalk, and identified multiple growth factors and radiation response genes that might be involved in these effects.

Balabanova S, Holmberg C, Steele I, et al.
The neuroendocrine phenotype of gastric myofibroblasts and its loss with cancer progression.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(8):1798-806 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/08/2015 Related Publications
Stromal cells influence cancer progression. Myofibroblasts are an important stromal cell type, which influence the tumour microenvironment by release of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, proteases, cytokines and chemokines. The mechanisms of secretion are poorly understood. Here, we describe the secretion of marker proteins in gastric cancer and control myofibroblasts in response to insulin-like growth factor (IGF) stimulation and, using functional genomic approaches, we identify proteins influencing the secretory response. IGF rapidly increased myofibroblast secretion of an ECM protein, TGFβig-h3. The secretory response was not blocked by inhibition of protein synthesis and was partially mediated by increased intracellular calcium (Ca(2+)). The capacity for evoked secretion was associated with the presence of dense-core secretory vesicles and was lost in cells from patients with advanced gastric cancer. In cells responding to IGF-II, the expression of neuroendocrine marker proteins, including secretogranin-II and proenkephalin, was identified by gene array and LC-MS/MS respectively, and verified experimentally. The expression of proenkephalin was decreased in cancers from patients with advanced disease. Inhibition of secretogranin-II expression decreased the secretory response to IGF, and its over-expression recovered the secretory response consistent with a role in secretory vesicle biogenesis. We conclude that normal and some gastric cancer myofibroblasts have a neuroendocrine-like phenotype characterized by Ca(2+)-dependent regulated secretion, dense-core secretory vesicles and expression of neuroendocrine marker proteins; loss of the phenotype is associated with advanced cancer. A failure to regulate myofibroblast protein secretion may contribute to cancer progression.

Rashad NM, El-Shal AS, Abd Elbary EH, et al.
Impact of insulin-like growth factor 2, insulin-like growth factor receptor 2, insulin receptor substrate 2 genes polymorphisms on susceptibility and clinicopathological features of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cytokine. 2014; 68(1):50-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the major causes of cancer-related death worldwide. Insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF-2) is an important autocrine and paracrine growth factor which may induce cell proliferation and inhibit cell apoptosis leading to the transformation of normal cells into malignant cells. This study aimed to evaluate the possible roles of IGF-2, insulin-like growth factor-2 receptor (IGF-2R), and insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-2 genes polymorphisms in susceptibility and clinicopathological features of HCC in Egyptian population.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Four hundred and twenty-six HCC patients and 334 controls were enrolled in the study. Polymorphisms of IGF-2+3580, IGF-2+3123, IGF-2R 1619, and IRS-2 1057 gene were detected using polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). Serum IGF-2 were determined using ELISA.
RESULTS: Serum IGF-2 levels were significantly lower in HCC patients than in healthy controls. IGF-2+3580 AA genotype, IGF-2+3123 GG genotype or G allele, IRS-2 1057 DD genotype and D allele were significantly associated with HCC risk. The combination of IGF-2+3580 AA homozygosity and IGF-2R 1619 GG homozygosity presented a significant protective effect against HCC (OR=0.16,95% CI=0. 08-0.34, P=0. 005). Serum IGF-2 concentrations were significantly increased in HCC patients with the IGF-2+3580 AA genotype. We also observed that increased alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), Child-Pugh grade, tumor size, and number of malignant lesions were accompanied by a significant increase of serum IGF-2 mean values of in HCC patients.
CONCLUSION: IGF-2, IGF-2R, and IRS-2 genes polymorphisms and their combinations are associated with risk of HCC.

Yao M, Wang L, Dong Z, et al.
Glypican-3 as an emerging molecular target for hepatocellular carcinoma gene therapy.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(6):5857-68 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glypican-3 (GPC-3), a membrane-associated heparan sulfate proteoglycan, plays a crucial role in cell proliferation and metastasis, particularly in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression, and perhaps is a valuable target for its gene therapy. However, its mechanism remains to be explored. In the present study, the biological behaviors of HCC cells were investigated by interfering GPC-3 gene transcription. After the cells were transfected with specific GPC-3 short hairpin RNA (shRNA), the inhibition of GPC-3 expression was 75.6 % in MHCC-97H or 73.8 % in Huh7 cells at mRNA level; the rates of proliferation and apoptosis were 53.6 and 60.5 % in MHCC-97H or 54.9 and 54.4 % in Huh7 cells, with the cell cycles arrested in the G1 phase; the incidences of cell migration, metastasis, and invasion inhibition were 80.1, 56.4, and 69.1 % in MHCC-97H or 80.9, 59.6, and 58.3 % in Huh7 cells, respectively. The cell biological behaviors were altered by silencing GPC-3 with down-regulation of β-catenin, insulin-like growth factor-II and vascular endothelial growth factor, and Gli1 up-regulation. The cell proliferation was significantly inhibited (up to 95.11 %) by shRNA plus anti-cancer drugs, suggesting that GPC-3 gene should be a potential target for promoting hepatoma cell apoptosis and inhibiting metastasis through the Wnt/β-catenin and Hh singling pathways.

Szarvas T, Tschirdewahn S, Niedworok C, et al.
Prognostic value of tissue and circulating levels of IMP3 in prostate cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2014; 135(7):1596-604 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tissue levels of the oncofetal protein insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) messenger RNA-binding protein 3 (IMP3) have been associated with poor prognosis in multiple human malignancies. However, its circulating levels have not yet been analyzed. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the prognostic value of both serum and tissue levels of IMP3 in prostate cancer (PC). IMP3 protein expression was analyzed in 124 PC and 13 benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) patients using immunohistochemistry. Gene expression levels of IMP3 and its molecular target IGF2 were analyzed in 29 frozen and 26 paraffin-embedded PC tissues using real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. Serum IMP3 levels were assessed in 94 PC and 20 BPH patients as well as in 20 controls using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. IMP3 immunostaining was present in 0% (0/13) of BPHs, 15% (15/101) of clinically localized PCs and 65% (15/23) of palliatively treated metastatic PCs (p < 0.001). Accordingly, serum IMP3 concentrations were significantly higher in PC compared to BPH patients which were higher than those in controls (p < 0.001 each). The highest concentrations were detected in metastatic PC patients (p = 0.036). In patients who underwent radical prostatectomy high IMP3 serum levels were independently associated with poor cancer-specific survival. IMP3 gene and protein expressions were not correlated with those of IGF2. In conclusion, we found enhanced IMP3 levels in tissue and serum samples of PC patients compared to non-PC men. Moreover, IMP3 was associated with metastasis and PC-specific survival. The tumor promoting effect of IMP3 appears to be independent from its regulatory role on IGF2 in PC.

Livingstone C, Borai A
Insulin-like growth factor-II: its role in metabolic and endocrine disease.
Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2014; 80(6):773-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II) is a widely expressed 7·5 kDa mitogenic peptide hormone. Although it is abundant in serum, understanding of its physiological role is limited compared with that of IGF-I. IGF-II regulates foetal development and differentiation, but its role in adults is less well understood. Evidence suggests roles in a number of tissues including skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, bone and ovary. Altered IGF-II expression has been observed in metabolic conditions, notably obesity, diabetes and the polycystic ovary syndrome. This article summarizes what is known about the actions of IGF-II and its dysregulation in metabolic and endocrine diseases. The possible causes and consequences of dysregulation are discussed along with the implications for diagnostic tests and future research.

Yang B, Wagner J, Damaschke N, et al.
A novel pathway links oxidative stress to loss of insulin growth factor-2 (IGF2) imprinting through NF-κB activation.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e88052 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/08/2015 Related Publications
Genomic imprinting is the allele-specific expression of a gene based on parental origin. Loss of imprinting(LOI) of Insulin-like Growth Factor 2 (IGF2) during aging is important in tumorigenesis, yet the regulatory mechanisms driving this event are largely unknown. In this study oxidative stress, measured by increased NF-κB activity, induces LOI in both cancerous and noncancerous human prostate cells. Decreased expression of the enhancer-blocking element CCCTC-binding factor(CTCF) results in reduced binding of CTCF to the H19-ICR (imprint control region), a major factor in the allelic silencing of IGF2. This ICR then develops increased DNA methylation. Assays identify a recruitment of the canonical pathway proteins NF-κB p65 and p50 to the CTCF promoter associated with the co-repressor HDAC1 explaining gene repression. An IκBα super-repressor blocks oxidative stress-induced activation of NF-κB and IGF2 imprinting is maintained. In vivo experiments using IκBα mutant mice with continuous NF-κB activation demonstrate increased IGF2 LOI further confirming a central role for canonical NF-κB signaling. We conclude CTCF plays a central role in mediating the effects of NF-κB activation that result in altered imprinting both in vitro and in vivo. This novel finding connects inflammation found in aging prostate tissues with the altered epigenetic landscape.

Ribarska T, Goering W, Droop J, et al.
Deregulation of an imprinted gene network in prostate cancer.
Epigenetics. 2014; 9(5):704-17 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
Multiple epigenetic alterations contribute to prostate cancer progression by deregulating gene expression. Epigenetic mechanisms, especially differential DNA methylation at imprinting control regions (termed DMRs), normally ensure the exclusive expression of imprinted genes from one specific parental allele. We therefore wondered to which extent imprinted genes become deregulated in prostate cancer and, if so, whether deregulation is due to altered DNA methylation at DMRs. Therefore, we selected presumptive deregulated imprinted genes from a previously conducted in silico analysis and from the literature and analyzed their expression in prostate cancer tissues by qRT-PCR. We found significantly diminished expression of PLAGL1/ZAC1, MEG3, NDN, CDKN1C, IGF2, and H19, while LIT1 was significantly overexpressed. The PPP1R9A gene, which is imprinted in selected tissues only, was strongly overexpressed, but was expressed biallelically in benign and cancerous prostatic tissues. Expression of many of these genes was strongly correlated, suggesting co-regulation, as in an imprinted gene network (IGN) reported in mice. Deregulation of the network genes also correlated with EZH2 and HOXC6 overexpression. Pyrosequencing analysis of all relevant DMRs revealed generally stable DNA methylation between benign and cancerous prostatic tissues, but frequent hypo- and hyper-methylation was observed at the H19 DMR in both benign and cancerous tissues. Re-expression of the ZAC1 transcription factor induced H19, CDKN1C and IGF2, supporting its function as a nodal regulator of the IGN. Our results indicate that a group of imprinted genes are coordinately deregulated in prostate cancers, independently of DNA methylation changes.

Dluhosova M, Curik N, Vargova J, et al.
Epigenetic control of SPI1 gene by CTCF and ISWI ATPase SMARCA5.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e87448 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) can both activate as well as inhibit transcription by forming chromatin loops between regulatory regions and promoters. In this regard, Ctcf binding on non-methylated DNA and its interaction with the Cohesin complex results in differential regulation of the H19/Igf2 locus. Similarly, a role for CTCF has been established in normal hematopoietic development; however its involvement in leukemia remains elusive. Here, we show that Ctcf binds to the imprinting control region of H19/Igf2 in AML blasts. We also demonstrate that Smarca5, which also associates with the Cohesin complex, facilitates Ctcf binding to its target sites on DNA. Furthermore, Smarca5 supports Ctcf functionally and is needed for enhancer-blocking effect at ICR. We next asked whether CTCF and SMARCA5 control the expression of key hematopoiesis regulators. In normally differentiating myeloid cells both CTCF and SMARCA5 together with members of the Cohesin complex are recruited to the SPI1 gene, a key hematopoiesis regulator and leukemia suppressor. Due to DNA methylation, CTCF binding to the SPI1 gene is blocked in AML blasts. Upon AZA-mediated DNA demethylation of human AML blasts, CTCF and SMARCA5 are recruited to the -14.4 Enhancer of SPI1 gene and block its expression. Our data provide new insight into complex SPI1 gene regulation now involving additional key epigenetic factors, CTCF and SMARCA5 that control PU.1 expression at the -14.4 Enhancer.

Kim JS, Kim ES, Liu D, et al.
Prognostic implications of tumoral expression of insulin like growth factors 1 and 2 in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.
Clin Lung Cancer. 2014; 15(3):213-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The currently available systemic therapies for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have limited efficacy. Previous studies indicated an association of elevated insulinlike growth factor (IGF)-1 receptor (IGF-1R) and insulin receptor expression levels with poor survival in patients with NSCLC. To better understand the molecular biomarkers involved in the IGF signaling pathway in NSCLC, the expression levels of IGF-1 and IGF-2 are characterized and evaluated for their association with IGF-1R and phosphorylated IGF-1R (pIGF-1R) expression in NSCLC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 352 patients who underwent NSCLC resection with curative intent were studied. The expression patterns of the IGF-1, IGF-2, IGF-1R, and pIGF-1R proteins were assessed immunohistochemically using tissue microarrays.
RESULTS: The IGF-1 expression was higher in patients with adenocarcinoma (ADC) than in those with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), whereas the IGF-2 score was higher in patients with SCC than those with ADC. Likewise, the IGF-1 score was higher in patients with mutated epidermal growth factor receptor (mtEGFR) than in those with wild type EGFR (wtEGFR), whereas the IGF-2 score was higher in patients with wtEGFR than in those with mtEGFR. Patients with low levels of IGF-1 expression had longer overall survival (OS) than those with high IGF-1 expression, and subgroup analyses found a significant difference in OS only in patients with ADC.
CONCLUSION: The overexpression of IGF-1 predicts poor survival among patients with NSCLC, especially those with ADC. These results might serve as a future guide for clinical trials involving IGF-1R-targeting agents.

Berg M, Hagland HR, Søreide K
Comparison of CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) frequency in colon cancer using different probe- and gene-specific scoring alternatives on recommended multi-gene panels.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e86657 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In colorectal cancer a distinct subgroup of tumours demonstrate the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP). However, a consensus of how to score CIMP is not reached, and variation in definition may influence the reported CIMP prevalence in tumours. Thus, we sought to compare currently suggested definitions and cut-offs for methylation markers and how they influence CIMP classification in colon cancer.
METHODS: Methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MS-MLPA), with subsequent fragment analysis, was used to investigate methylation of tumour samples. In total, 31 CpG sites, located in 8 different genes (RUNX3, MLH1, NEUROG1, CDKN2A, IGF2, CRABP1, SOCS1 and CACNA1G) were investigated in 64 distinct colon cancers and 2 colon cancer cell lines. The Ogino gene panel includes all 8 genes, in addition to the Weisenberger panel of which only 5 of the 8 genes included were investigated. In total, 18 alternative combinations of scoring of CIMP positivity on probe-, gene-, and panel-level were analysed and compared.
RESULTS: For 47 samples (71%), the CIMP status was constant and independent of criteria used for scoring; 34 samples were constantly scored as CIMP negative, and 13 (20%) consistently scored as CIMP positive. Only four of 31 probes (13%) investigated showed no difference in the numbers of positive samples using the different cut-offs. Within the panels a trend was observed that increasing the gene-level stringency resulted in a larger difference in CIMP positive samples than increasing the probe-level stringency. A significant difference between positive samples using 'the most stringent' as compared to 'the least stringent' criteria (20% vs 46%, respectively; p<0.005) was demonstrated.
CONCLUSIONS: A statistical significant variation in the frequency of CIMP depending on the cut-offs and genes included in a panel was found, with twice as many positives samples by least compared to most stringent definition used.

Gu J, Li M, Dong P, et al.
Role of polymorphisms of the IGF2 and IGFBP3 genes and risk of gastric carcinoma in China.
Chin Med J (Engl). 2014; 127(3):412-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The insulin-like growth factor signaling pathway plays an important role in the modulation of cell growth and proliferation. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of polymorphisms of the insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) and IGF-binding protein 3 (IGFBP3) genes, which encode key proteins of this pathway, as risk factors for gastric carcinoma (GC).
METHODS: A case-control study including 404 histologically confirmed GC patients and 424 healthy controls of the same ethnicity was conducted to retrospectively investigate the genetic polymorphisms of two genes, IGF2+820A>G (rs680) and IGFBP3 A-202C (rs2854744). Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using Logistic regression.
RESULTS: The IGF2 genetic variants examined contributed to GC risk individually (OR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.08-1.46). The genotype frequencies of IGFBP3 A-202C were not significantly different between the cancer cases and controls (P > 0.05). Compared to the IGF2 AA genotype, carriers of one variant combined genotype were more pronounced among young subjects (<60 years), male subjects, never smokers, and those with a family history of cancer (OR = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.09-1.72, P < 0.05; OR = 1.61, 95% CI = 1.28-2.08, P < 0.05; OR = 1.46, 95% CI = 1.11-1.98, P < 0.05; OR = 1.53, 95% CI = 0.91-2.6, P < 0.05; respectively). Moreover, when the combined effects of the risk genotypes were investigated, significant associations were detected between highrisk genotypes in IGF2 and IGFBP3 (OR, 2.47; 95% CI, 1.75-3.49).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that polymorphic variants of the IGF2 genes modulate gastric carcinogenesis. Moreover, when the IGF2 and IGFBP3 variants are evaluated together, a greater effect on GC risk is observed.

Szymanowska-Narloch A, Jassem E, Skrzypski M, et al.
Molecular profiles of non-small cell lung cancers in cigarette smoking and never-smoking patients.
Adv Med Sci. 2013; 58(2):196-206 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Molecular features of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in never-smokers are not well recognized. We assessed the expression of genes potentially related to lung cancer etiology in smoking vs. never-smoking NSCLC patients.
METHODS: We assayed frozen tumor samples from surgically resected 31 never-smoking and 54 clinically pair-matched smoking NSCLC patients, and from corresponding normal lung tissue from 27 and 43 patients, respectively. Expression of 21 genes, including cell membrane kinases, sex hormone receptors, transcription factors, growth factors and others was assessed by reverse transcription - quantitative PCR.
RESULTS: Expression of 5 genes was significantly higher in tumors of non-smokers vs. smokers: CSF1R (p<0.0001), RRAD (p<0.0001), PR (p=0.0004), TGFBR2 (p=0.0027) and EPHB6 (p=0.0033). Expression of AKR1B10 (p<0.0001), CDKN2A (p<0.0001), CHRNA6 (p<0.0001), SOX9 (p<0.0001), survivin (p<0.0001) and ER2 (p=0.002) was significantly higher in tumors compared to normal lung tissue. Expression of AR (p<0.0001), EPHB6 (p<0.0001), PR (p<0.0001), TGFBR2 (p<0.0001), TGFBR3 (p<0.0001), ER1 (p=0.0006) and DLG1 (p=0.0016) was significantly lower in tumors than in normal lung tissue. Expression of IGF2 was higher in tumors than in healthy lung tissue in never-smokers (p=0.003), and expression of AHR (p<0.0001), CSF1R (p<0.0001) and RRAD (p<0.0001) was lower in tumors than in healthy lung tissue in smokers.
CONCLUSION: Expression of several genes in NSCLC is strongly related to smoking history. Lower expression of PR and higher expression of ER2 in tumors suggests a possibility of hormonal therapeutic intervention in selected NSCLC patients. Distinct molecular features of NSCLC in never-smokers, e.g. CHRNA6 upregulation, may prompt new treatment strategies.

Malaguarnera R, Sacco A, Morcavallo A, et al.
Metformin inhibits androgen-induced IGF-IR up-regulation in prostate cancer cells by disrupting membrane-initiated androgen signaling.
Endocrinology. 2014; 155(4):1207-21 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2015 Related Publications
We have previously demonstrated that, in prostate cancer cells, androgens up-regulate IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) by inducing cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) activation and CREB-dependent IGF-IR gene transcription through androgen receptor (AR)-dependent membrane-initiated effects. This IGF-IR up-regulation is not blocked by classical antiandrogens and sensitizes cells to IGF-I-induced biological effects. Metformin exerts complex antitumoral functions in various models and may inhibit CREB activation in hepatocytes. We, therefore, evaluated whether metformin may affect androgen-dependent IGF-IR up-regulation. In the AR(+) LNCaP prostate cancer cells, we found that metformin inhibits androgen-induced CRE activity and IGF-IR gene transcription. CRE activity requires the formation of a CREB-CREB binding protein-CREB regulated transcription coactivator 2 (CRTC2) complex, which follows Ser133-CREB phosphorylation. Metformin inhibited Ser133-CREB phosphorylation and induced nuclear exclusion of CREB cofactor CRTC2, thus dissociating the CREB-CREB binding protein-CRTC2 complex and blocking its transcriptional activity. Similarly to metformin action, CRTC2 silencing inhibited IGF-IR promoter activity. Moreover, metformin blocked membrane-initiated signals of AR to the mammalian target of rapamycin/p70S6Kinase pathway by inhibiting AR phosphorylation and its association with c-Src. AMPK signals were also involved to some extent. By inhibiting androgen-dependent IGF-IR up-regulation, metformin reduced IGF-I-mediated proliferation of LNCaP cells. These results indicate that, in prostate cancer cells, metformin inhibits IGF-I-mediated biological effects by disrupting membrane-initiated AR action responsible for IGF-IR up-regulation and suggest that metformin could represent a useful adjunct to the classical antiandrogen therapy.

Tomblin JK, Salisbury TB
Insulin like growth factor 2 regulation of aryl hydrocarbon receptor in MCF-7 breast cancer cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 443(3):1092-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2015 Related Publications
Insulin like growth factor (IGF)-1 and IGF-2 stimulate normal growth, development and breast cancer cell proliferation. Cyclin D1 (CCND1) promotes cell cycle by inhibiting retinoblastoma protein (RB1). The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a major xenobiotic receptor that also regulates cell cycle. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether IGF-2 promotes MCF-7 breast cancer proliferation by inducing AHR. Western blot and quantitative real time PCR (Q-PCR) analysis revealed that IGF-2 induced an approximately 2-fold increase (P<.001) in the expression of AHR and CCND1. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), followed by Q-PCR indicated that IGF-2 promoted (P<.001) a 7-fold increase in AHR binding on the CCND1 promoter. AHR knockdown significantly (P<.001) inhibited IGF-2 stimulated increases in CCND1 mRNA and protein. AHR knockdown cells were less (P<.001) responsive to the proliferative effects of IGF-2 than control cells. Collectively, our findings have revealed a new regulatory mechanism by which IGF-2 induction of AHR promotes the expression of CCND1 and the proliferation of MCF-7 cells. This previously uncharacterized pathway could be important for the proliferation of IGF responsive cancer cells that also express AHR.

Martin JL, de Silva HC, Lin MZ, et al.
Inhibition of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3 signaling through sphingosine kinase-1 sensitizes triple-negative breast cancer cells to EGF receptor blockade.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2014; 13(2):316-28 [PubMed] Related Publications
The type I EGF receptor (EGFR or ErbB1) and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) are highly expressed in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), a particularly aggressive disease that cannot be treated with conventional therapies targeting the estrogen or progesterone receptors (ER and PR), or HER2. We have shown previously in normal breast epithelial cells that IGFBP-3 potentiates growth-stimulatory signaling transduced by EGFR, and this is mediated by the sphingosine kinase-1 (SphK1)/sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) system. In this study, we investigated whether cotargeting the EGFR and SphK1/S1P pathways in TNBC cells results in greater growth inhibition compared with blocking either alone, and might therefore have novel therapeutic potential in TNBC. In four TNBC cell lines, exogenous IGFBP-3 enhanced ligand-stimulated EGFR activation, associated with increased SphK1 localization to the plasma membrane. The effect of exogenous IGFBP-3 on EGFR activation was blocked by pharmacologic inhibition or siRNA-mediated silencing of SphK1, and silencing of endogenous IGFBP-3 also suppressed EGF-stimulated EGFR activation. Real-time analysis of cell proliferation revealed a combined effect of EGFR inhibition by gefitinib and SphK1 inhibition using SKi-II. Growth of MDA-MB-468 xenograft tumors in mice was significantly inhibited by SKi-II and gefitinib when used in combination, but not as single agents. We conclude that IGFBP-3 promotes growth of TNBC cells by increasing EGFR signaling, that this is mediated by SphK1, and that combined inhibition of EGFR and SphK1 has potential as an anticancer therapy in TNBC in which EGFR and IGFBP-3 expression is high.

Zhu P, Davis M, Blackwelder AJ, et al.
Metformin selectively targets tumor-initiating cells in ErbB2-overexpressing breast cancer models.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014; 7(2):199-210 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metformin is an oral biguanide used for type II diabetes. Epidemiologic studies suggest a link between metformin use and reduced risk of breast and other types of cancers. ErbB2-expressing breast cancer is a subgroup of tumors with poor prognosis. Previous studies demonstrated that metformin is a potent inhibitor of ErbB2-overexpressing breast cancer cells; metformin treatment extends the life span and impedes mammary tumor development in ErbB2 transgenic mice in vivo. However, the mechanisms of metformin associated antitumor activity, especially in prevention models, remain unclear. We report here for the first time that systemic administration of metformin selectively inhibits CD61(high)/CD49f(high) subpopulation, a group of tumor-initiating cells (TIC) of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-ErbB2 mammary tumors, in preneoplastic mammary glands. Metformin also inhibited CD61(high)/CD49f(high) subpopulation in MMTV-ErbB2 tumor-derived cells, which was correlated with their compromised tumor initiation/development in a syngeneic tumor graft model. Molecular analysis indicated that metformin induced downregulation of ErbB2 and EGFR expression and inhibited the phosphorylation of ErbB family members, insulin-like growth factor-1R, AKT, mTOR, and STAT3 in vivo. In vitro data indicate that low doses of metformin inhibited the self-renewal/proliferation of cancer stem cells (CSC)/TICs in ErbB2-overexpressing breast cancer cells. We further demonstrated that the expression and activation of ErbB2 were preferentially increased in CSC/TIC-enriched tumorsphere cells, which promoted their self-renewal/proliferation and rendered them more sensitive to metformin. Our results, especially the in vivo data, provide fundamental support for developing metformin-mediated preventive strategies targeting ErbB2-associated carcinogenesis.

Murata A, Baba Y, Watanabe M, et al.
IGF2 DMR0 methylation, loss of imprinting, and patient prognosis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2014; 21(4):1166-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Insulin like growth factor 2 gene (IGF2) is normally imprinted. Loss of imprinting (LOI) of IGF2 in humans is associated with an increased risk of cancer and is controlled by CpG-rich regions known as differentially methylated regions (DMRs). Specifically, the methylation level at IGF2 DMR0 is correlated with IGF2 LOI and is a suggested surrogate marker for IGF2 LOI. A relationship between IGF2 DMR0 hypomethylation and poor prognosis has been shown in colorectal cancer. However, to our knowledge, no study has examined the relationships among the IGF2 DMR0 methylation level, LOI, and clinical outcome in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).
METHODS: The IGF2 imprinting status was screened using ApaI polymorphism, and IGF2 protein expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry with 30 ESCC tissue specimens. For survival analysis, IGF2 DMR0 methylation was measured using a bisulfite pyrosequencing assay with 216 ESCC tissue specimens.
RESULTS: Twelve (40 %) of 30 cases were informative (i.e., heterozygous for ApaI), and 5 (42 %) of 12 informative cases displayed IGF2 LOI. IGF2 LOI cases exhibited lower DMR0 methylation levels (mean 23 %) than IGF2 non-LOI cases (37 %). The IGF2 DMR0 methylation level was significantly associated with IGF2 protein expression. Among 202 patients eligible for survival analysis, IGF2 DMR0 hypomethylation was significantly associated with higher cancer-specific mortality.
CONCLUSIONS: The IGF2 DMR0 methylation level in ESCC was associated with IGF2 LOI and IGF2 protein expression. In addition, IGF2 DMR0 hypomethylation was associated with a shorter survival time, suggesting its potential role as a prognostic biomarker.

Liu M, Roth A, Yu M, et al.
The IGF2 intronic miR-483 selectively enhances transcription from IGF2 fetal promoters and enhances tumorigenesis.
Genes Dev. 2013; 27(23):2543-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2015 Related Publications
Insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2), a developmentally regulated and maternally imprinted gene, is frequently overexpressed in pediatric cancers. Although loss of imprinting (LOI) at fetal promoters contributes to increased IGF2 in tumors, the magnitude of IGF2 expression suggests the involvement of additional regulatory mechanisms. A microRNA (miRNA) screen of primary Wilms' tumors identified specific overexpression of miR-483-5p, which is embedded within the IGF2 gene. Unexpectedly, the IGF2 mRNA itself is transcriptionally up-regulated by miR-483-5p. A nuclear pool of miR-483-5p binds directly to the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of fetal IGF2 mRNA, enhancing the association of the RNA helicase DHX9 to the IGF2 transcript and promoting IGF2 transcription. Ectopic expression of miR-483-5p in IGF2-dependent sarcoma cells is correlated with increased tumorigenesis in vivo. Together, these observations suggest a functional positive feedback loop of an intronic miRNA on transcription of its host gene.

Nguewa P, Manrique I, Díaz R, et al.
Id-1B, an alternatively spliced isoform of the inhibitor of differentiation-1, impairs cancer cell malignancy through inhibition of proliferation and angiogenesis.
Curr Mol Med. 2014; 14(1):151-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Id-1 is a member of the helix-loop-helix family of proteins that regulates the activity of transcription factors to suppress cellular differentiation and to promote cell growth. Overexpression of Id-1 in tumor cells correlates with increased malignancy and resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Id-1B is an isoform generated by alternative splicing that differs from the classical Id-1 in the 13-C-terminal amino acids, whose function is at present unknown. We have studied the role of Id-1B in cancer and its expression in healthy/malignant lung tissues. Overexpression of Id-1B in A549 lung and PC3 prostate cancer cells reduced anchorage-dependent and independent proliferation and clonogenic potential. Moreover, it increased the proportion of cells in the G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle and p27 levels, while reduced phospho-Erk and cyclin A levels. Through microarray analysis, we identified genes involved in cell growth and proliferation that are specifically deregulated as a consequence of Id-1B overexpression, including IGF2, BMP4, Id2, GATA3, EREG and AREG. Id-1B overexpressing cells that were treated with 4Gy irradiation dose were significantly less resistant to cell death. In vivo assays demonstrated that tumors with high Id-1B levels exhibited less growth (p<0.01), metabolic activity (glucose uptake) and angiogenesis (p<0.05) compared to tumors with low Id-1B expression; mice survival was significantly extended (p<0.05). Quantification by qRT-PCR revealed that expression of Id-1B was significantly lower (p<0.01) in human lung tumors compared to their matched nonmalignant counterparts. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that Id-1B decreases the malignancy of lung and prostate cancer cells, sensitizes them to radiotherapy-induced cell death, and counteracts the protumorigenic role of the classical form of Id-1.

Kang Z, Yu Y, Zhu YJ, et al.
Downregulation of IGFBP2 is associated with resistance to IGF1R therapy in rhabdomyosarcoma.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(50):5697-705 [PubMed] Related Publications
Agents targeting the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF1R) are in clinical development, but, despite some initial success of single agents in sarcoma, response rates are low with brief durations. Thus, it is important to identify markers predictive of response, to understand mechanisms of resistance, and to explore combination therapies. In this study, we found that, although associated with PAX3-FKHR translocation, increased IGF1R level is an independent prognostic marker for worse overall survival, particularly in patients with PAX3-FKHR-positive rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). IGF1R antibody-resistant RMS cells were generated using an in vivo model. Expression analysis indicated that IGFBP2 is both the most affected gene in the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling pathway and the most significantly downregulated gene in the resistant lines, indicating that there is a strong selection to repress IGFBP2 expression in tumor cells resistant to IGF1R antibody. IGFBP2 is inhibitory to IGF1R phosphorylation and its signaling. Similar to antibodies to IGF1/2 or IGF2, the addition of exogenous IGFBP2 potentiates the activity of IGF1R antibody against the RMS cells, and it reverses the resistance to IGF1R antibody. In contrast to IGF1R, lower expression of IGFBP2 is associated with poorer overall survival, consistent with its inhibitory activity found in this study. Finally, blocking downstream Protein kinase B (AKT) activation with Phosphatidylinositide 3-kinases (PI3K)- or mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-specific inhibitors significantly sensitized the resistant cells to the IGF1R antibody. These findings show that constitutive IGFBP2 downregulation may represent a novel mechanism for acquired resistance to IGF1R therapeutic antibody in vivo and suggest various drug combinations to enhance antibody activity and to overcome resistance.

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