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Endocrinology. 2002 Sep;143(9):3259-67.

Functional insulin receptors on human epithelial ovarian carcinoma cells: implications for IGF-II mitogenic signaling.

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Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Endocrine Research Unit, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


The insulin receptor mediates a proliferative response in certain transformed cells, but little is known about its function in ovarian cancer. We used human epithelial ovarian carcinoma cell lines and lifespan-extended normal ovarian surface epithelial (OSE) cells to examine (125)I-insulin binding and mitogenic responses to insulin. All cancer cell and OSE cultures specifically bound (125)I-insulin. Except for OV202, the carcinoma lines had elevated insulin binding compared with OSE cells. All carcinoma lines except OV202 expressed insulin receptor as detected by flow cytometry and increased (3)H-thymidine incorporation or cell number in response to 0.1-10 nM insulin. Interestingly, similar concentrations of IGF-II also induced proliferation of the insulin-responsive cancer cell lines and displaced (125)I-insulin binding. Direct binding of (125)I-IGF-II to the insulin receptor was visualized by cross-linking and immunoprecipitation. Binding of IGF-II to the insulin receptor and a proliferative effect of insulin suggest the presence of insulin receptor isoform A. Real-time PCR analyses confirm that insulin receptor isoform A expression predominates over isoform B expression in the ovarian carcinoma cell lines. This report suggests that the insulin receptor may play a role in the regulation of ovarian cancer cell growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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