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Cancer Res. 2004 Sep 15;64(18):6549-55.

Cyclooxygenase-2 modulates the insulin-like growth factor axis in non-small-cell lung cancer.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.


Constitutive overexpression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) occurs frequently in several different malignancies, including lung, colon, breast, and prostate cancer. Clinical studies have established elevated serum insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) content and IGF-I:IGF-binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) ratio as risk factors for these same malignancies. Therefore, we sought to determine the link between COX-2 expression and the IGF axis in COX-2 gene-modified human non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Overexpression of COX-2 in NSCLC cells enhanced the antiapoptotic and mitogenic effects of IGF-I and IGF-II, facilitated the autophosphorylation of the type 1 IGF receptor, increased class IA phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase activity, and decreased expression of IGFBP-3. Thus, these findings show that COX-2 augments the stimulatory arm of the IGF axis.

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