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Cell Signal. 2008 Jan;20(1):219-29. Epub 2007 Oct 14.

Both Wnt and mTOR signaling pathways are involved in insulin-stimulated proto-oncogene expression in intestinal cells.

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Division of Cell and Molecular Biology, University Health Network, Canada.


Subjects with Type II diabetes mellitus are more vulnerable in developing colorectal tumors, suggesting that hyperinsulinemia may stimulate proto-oncogene expression, and the existence of crosstalk between insulin signaling and pathways that are involved in colorectal tumor formation. We show here that insulin stimulates cell proliferation and c-Myc expression in colon cancer cell lines HT29 and Caco-2, intestinal non-cancer cell line IEC-6, and primary fetal rat intestinal cell (FRIC) cultures. The effect of insulin was blocked by phosphoinositide-3 Kinase (PI3K) inhibition, but only partially attenuated by inhibition of Protein kinase B (PKB), indicating the existence of both PKB-dependent and -independent mechanisms. The PKB-dependent mechanism of insulin-stimulated c-Myc expression in HT29 cells was shown to involve the activation of mTOR in c-Myc translation. In the investigation of the PKB-independent mechanism, we found that insulin-induced nuclear translocation of beta-catenin (beta-cat), an effector of Wnt signaling. Furthermore, insulin stimulated the expression of TopFlash, a Wnt-responsive reporter gene. Finally, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) detected significant increases in the binding of beta-cat to two TCF binding sites of the human c-Myc promoter following insulin treatment. Our observations support the existence of crosstalk between insulin and Wnt signaling pathways, and suggest that the crosstalk involves a PKB-independent mechanism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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