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J Cell Biochem. 2007 Dec 15;102(6):1529-41.

Nordihydroguaiaretic acid inhibits insulin-like growth factor signaling, growth, and survival in human neuroblastoma cells.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.


Neuroblastoma is a common pediatric malignancy that metastasizes to the liver, bone, and other organs. Children with metastatic disease have a less than 50% chance of survival with current treatments. Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) stimulate neuroblastoma growth, survival, and motility, and are expressed by neuroblastoma cells and the tissues they invade. Thus, therapies that disrupt the effects of IGFs on neuroblastoma tumorigenesis may slow disease progression. We show that NVP-AEW541, a specific inhibitor of the IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR), potently inhibits neuroblastoma growth in vitro. Nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), a phenolic compound isolated from the creosote bush (Larrea divaricata), has anti-tumor properties against a number of malignancies, has been shown to inhibit the phosphorylation and activation of the IGF-IR in breast cancer cells, and is currently in Phase I trials for prostate cancer. In the present study in neuroblastoma, NDGA inhibits IGF-I-mediated activation of the IGF-IR and disrupts activation of ERK and Akt signaling pathways induced by IGF-I. NDGA inhibits growth of neuroblastoma cells and induces apoptosis at higher doses, causing IGF-I-resistant activation of caspase-3 and a large increase in the fraction of sub-G0 cells. In addition, NDGA inhibits the growth of xenografted human neuroblastoma tumors in nude mice. These results indicate that NDGA may be useful in the treatment of neuroblastoma and may function in part via disruption of IGF-IR signaling.

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