Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e55135. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055135. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

Epitope-specific mechanisms of IGF1R inhibition by ganitumab.

Author information

Oncology Research, Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, California, United States of America.



Therapeutic antibodies targeting the IGF1R have shown diverse efficacy and safety signals in oncology clinical trials. The success of these agents as future human therapeutics depends on understanding the specific mechanisms by which these antibodies target IGF1R signaling.


A panel of well-characterized assays was used to investigate the mechanisms by which ganitumab, a fully human anti-IGF1R antibody undergoing clinical testing, inhibits IGF1R activity. Epitope mapping using IGF1R subdomains localized the ganitumab binding site to the L2 domain. Binding of ganitumab inhibited the high-affinity interaction of IGF-1 and IGF-2 required to activate IGF1R in cells engineered for IGF1R hypersensitivity and in human cancer cell lines, resulting in complete blockade of ligand-induced cellular proliferation. Inhibition of IGF1R activity by ganitumab did not depend on endosomal sequestration, since efficient ligand blockade was obtained without evidence of receptor internalization and degradation. Clinically relevant concentrations of ganitumab also inhibited the activation of hybrid receptors by IGF-1 and IGF-2. Ganitumab was not an agonist of homodimeric IGF1R or hybrid receptors in MCF-7 and COLO 205 cells, but low-level IGF1R activation was detected in cells engineered for IGF1R hypersensitivity. This activation seems biologically irrelevant since ganitumab completely inhibited ligand-driven proliferation. The in vivo efficacy profile of ganitumab was equivalent or better than CR and FnIII-1 domain-specific antibodies, alone or in combination with irinotecan. CR domain-specific antibodies only blocked IGF-1 binding to IGF1R but were more potent than ganitumab at inducing homodimer and hybrid receptor downregulation in vitro, however this difference was less obvious in vivo. No inhibition of hybrid receptors was observed with the FnIII-1 domain antibodies, which were relatively strong homodimer and hybrid agonists.


The safety and efficacy profile of ganitumab and other anti-IGF1R antibodies may be explained by the distinct molecular mechanisms by which they inhibit receptor signaling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center