Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Cycle. 2007 Mar 15;6(6):631-7. Epub 2007 Mar 7.

Divergent roles for IRS-1 and IRS-2 in breast cancer metastasis.

Author information

Department of Cancer Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts 01605, USA.


The insulin receptor substrate (IRS) proteins are cytoplasmic docking proteins that function as essential signaling intermediates downstream of activated cell surface receptors, many of which have been implicated in breast cancer. The IRS proteins do not contain intrinsic kinase activity but rather function by organizing signaling complexes to initiate intracellular signaling cascades. IRS-1 and IRS-2 are expressed in normal mammary epithelial cells and in breast carcinoma cells, where they have been implicated in mediating signals to promote tumor cell survival, growth and motility. Although IRS-1 and IRS-2 are homologous, recent studies have revealed distinct functions for these adaptor proteins in regulating breast cancer progression. Specifically, IRS-2 is a positive regulator of metastasis, whereas IRS-1 may be a suppressor of metastasis. The observation that IRS-1 is inactivated in metastatic mammary tumors raises the possibility that IRS activity, rather than expression, may be a novel predictive indicator of metastasis. Understanding how the IRS proteins function in tumor progression is essential for future efforts aimed at developing approaches to target IRS-1 and IRS-2 in a diagnostic or therapeutic manner for the benefit of breast cancer patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center