Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Signal. 2012 Aug;24(8):1515-21. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2012.03.012. Epub 2012 Mar 28.

New advances on the functional cross-talk between insulin-like growth factor-I and estrogen signaling in cancer.

Author information

Department of Pharmaco-Biology, University of Calabria, 87030 Rende, Italy.


There is increasing awareness that estrogens may affect cell functions through the integration with a network of signaling pathways. The IGF system is a phylogenetically highly conserved axis that includes the insulin receptor (IR) and the insulin-like growth factor I receptor (IGF-IR) pathways, which are of crucial importance in the regulation of metabolism and cell growth in relationship to nutrient availability. Numerous studies nowadays document that estrogens cooperate with IGF system at multiple levels both in physiology and in disease. Several studies have focused on this bidirectional cross-talk in central nervous system, in mammary gland development and in cancer. Notably, cancer cells show frequent deregulation of the IGF system with overexpression of IR and/or IGF-IR and their ligands as well as frequent upregulation of the classical estrogen receptor (ER)α and the novel ER named GPER. Recent studies have, therefore, unraveled further mechanisms of cross-talk involving membrane initiated estrogen actions and the IGF system in cancer, that converge in the stimulation of pro-tumoral effects. These studies offer hope for new strategies aimed at the treatment of estrogen related cancers in order to prevent an estrogen-independent and more aggressive tumor progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center