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J Biol Chem. 2003 Apr 11;278(15):13325-32. Epub 2003 Jan 28.

Type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-IR) signaling inhibits apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1).

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Buck Institute for Age Research, Novato, California 94945-1400, USA.


The type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-IR) is a receptor-tyrosine kinase that plays a critical role in signaling cell survival and proliferation. IGF-IR binding to its ligand, insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) activates phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), promotes cell proliferation by activating the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade, and blocks apoptosis by inducing the phosphorylation and inhibition of proapoptotic proteins such as BAD. Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) is a MAP kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK) that is required for c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 activation in response to Fas and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor stimulation, and for oxidative stress- and TNFalpha-induced apoptosis. The results presented here indicate that ASK1 forms a complex with the IGF-IR and becomes phosphorylated on tyrosine residue(s) in a manner dependent on IGF-IR activity. IGF-IR signaling inhibited ASK1 irrespective of TNFalpha-induced ASK1 activation and resulted in decreased ASK1-dependent JNK1 stimulation. Signaling through IGF-IR rescued cells from ASK1-induced apoptotic cell death in a manner independent of PI3K activity. These results indicate that IGF-IR signaling suppresses the ASK-1-mediated stimulation of JNK/p38 and the induction of programmed cell death. The simultaneous activation of MAP kinases and the inhibition of the stress-activated arm of the cascade by IGF-IR may constitute a potent proliferative signaling system and is possibly a mechanism by which IGF-I can stimulate growth and inhibit cell death in a wide variety of cell types and biological settings.

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