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J Biol Chem. 2004 Sep 17;279(38):40017-25. Epub 2004 Jul 19.

Insulin-like growth factor 1 stimulates KCl cotransport, which is necessary for invasion and proliferation of cervical cancer and ovarian cancer cells.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 704, Taiwan.


The mechanisms by which insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) cooperates with membrane ion transport system to modulate epithelial cell motility and proliferation remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated the role of electroneutral KCl cotransport (KCC), in IGF-1-dependent invasiveness and proliferation of cervical and ovarian cancer cells. IGF-1 increased KCC activity and mRNA expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner in parallel with the enhancement of regulatory volume decrease. IGF-1 treatment triggers phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase cascades leading to the activation of Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 (Erk1/2), respectively. The activated Erk1/2 mitogen-activated protein kinase and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling pathways are differentially required for IGF-1-stimulated biosyn-thesis of KCC polypeptides. Specific reduction of Erk1/2 protein levels with small interference RNA abolishes IGF-1-stimulated KCC activity. Pharmacological inhibition and genetic modification of KCC activity demonstrate that KCC is necessary for IGF-1-induced cancer cell invasiveness and proliferation. IGF-1 and KCC colocalize in the surgical specimens of cervical cancer (n = 28) and ovarian cancer (n = 35), suggesting autocrine or paracrine IGF-1 stimulation of KCC production. Taken together, our results indicate that KCC activation by IGF-1 plays an important role in IGF-1 signaling to promote growth and spread of gynecological cancers.

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