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Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2008 Nov;8(7):597-610.

Interaction between estrogen receptor alpha and insulin/IGF signaling in breast cancer.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaco-Biology, University of Calabria, Arcavacata di Rende, CS, 87036, Italy.


Estrogens and insulin/Insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) have potent positive effects on the proliferation of mammary epithelial cells and estrogen-dependent breast cancer cells. A cooperative crosstalk between estrogens and insulin/IGF-I signaling pathways exists and it plays a critical role in breast carcinogenesis, tumor cell proliferation, differentiation and survival through the modulation of multiple biological events. The biological effects of estrogens are mainly mediated by the activation of estrogen receptor (ERalpha) whose activity is deeply influenced by the insulin/IGF-I signaling pathway. On the other hand, estrogens enhance insulin signaling by increasing the expression and/or the functional activity of some proteins involved in the insulin/IGF-I pathway. This review will focus on the critical node of the IGF-I network involved in the crosstalk with ERalpha and implicated in breast cancer development and progression.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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