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BMC Cancer. 2002 May 31;2:15.

Retroviral expression of a kinase-defective IGF-I receptor suppresses growth and causes apoptosis of CHO and U87 cells in-vivo.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.



Phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-triphosphate (PtdInsP3) signaling is elevated in many tumors due to loss of the tumor suppressor PTEN, and leads to constitutive activation of Akt, a kinase involved in cell survival. Reintroduction of PTEN in cells suppresses transformation and tumorigenicity. While this approach works in-vitro, it may prove difficult to achieve in-vivo. In this study, we investigated whether inhibition of growth factor signaling would have the same effect as re-expression of PTEN.


Dominant negative IGF-I receptors were expressed in CHO and U87 cells by retroviral infection. Cell proliferation, transformation and tumor formation in athymic nude mice were assessed.


Inhibition of IGF-IR signaling in a CHO cell model system by expression of a kinase-defective IGF-IR impairs proliferation, transformation and tumor growth. Reduction in tumor growth is associated with an increase in apoptosis in-vivo. The dominant-negative IGF-IRs also prevented growth of U87 PTEN-negative glioblastoma cells when injected into nude mice. Injection of an IGF-IR blocking antibody alphaIR3 into mice harboring parental U87 tumors inhibits tumor growth and increases apoptosis.


Inhibition of an upstream growth factor signal prevents tumor growth of the U87 PTEN-deficient glioma to the same extent as re-introduction of PTEN. This result suggests that growth factor receptor inhibition may be an effective alternative therapy for PTEN-deficient tumors.

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