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Cancer Lett. 2007 Nov 18;257(2):236-43. Epub 2007 Sep 4.

Elevated insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGF-IR) levels in primary breast tumors associated with BRCA1 mutations.

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Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel.


The insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) play a pivotal role in breast cancer. Inherited predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer is associated with germline BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations. To evaluate the impact of BRCA1 mutations on IGF-IR gene expression, we performed an immunohistochemical analysis of IGF-IR in primary breast tumors from BRCA1 mutation carriers and non-carriers. Results obtained revealed a significant elevation in IGF-IR levels in tumors from BRCA1 mutation carriers compared with non-carriers. To assess the potential inhibitory role of BRCA1 on IGF-IR levels, we infected the BRCA1-deficient HCC1937 cell line with a BRCA1-encoding adenoviral vector. Results of Western blots showed that BRCA1 induced a large reduction in endogenous IGF-IR levels. Furthermore, results of chromatin immunoprecipitation assays indicated that the mechanism of action of BRCA1 involves interaction with Sp1, a potent transactivator of the IGF-IR gene. In conclusion, our data suggests that the IGF-IR gene is a physiologically relevant downstream target for BRCA1 action.

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