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Anticancer Drug Des. 2000 Feb;15(1):67-72.

Inhibition of N-linked glycosylation down-regulates insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor at the cell surface and kills Ewing's sarcoma cells: therapeutic implications.

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Department of Oncology and Pathology, Cellular and Molecular Tumor Pathology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


The insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) has been shown to be of critical importance for tumor development and tumor cell survival of various types of malignancies. We have previously demonstrated that an adequate N-linked glycosylation of IGF-1R is required for its translocation to the cell surface in melanoma cells. This raises the possibility of using glycosylation inhibitors as therapeutic agents against IGF-1R-dependent malignancies. In this study we show that inhibition of N-linked glycosylation using tunicamycin or the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitor lovastatin resulted in down-regulation of IGF-1R at the cell surface in Ewing's sarcoma cell lines (RD-ES and ES-1 cells). The down-regulation of plasma membrane-bound IGF-1R was correlated with a drastic decrease in IGF-1R autophosphorylation, suggesting biochemical inactivation of the receptor. Whereas RD-ES and ES-1 cells responded differently with regard to DNA synthesis, the decrease in IGF-1R expression was accompanied by a rapid and substantial decrease in survival of both cell lines. Our data suggest that relatively untoxic HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (e.g. lovastatin) could have therapeutic significance in IGF-1R-dependent neoplasms like Ewing's sarcoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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