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Endocr Relat Cancer. 2013 May 20;20(3):273-81. doi: 10.1530/ERC-12-0307. Print 2013 Jun.

Murine basal cell carcinoma leads to tumor-mediated alterations in endocrine Igf1 signaling.

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  • 1Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, 360 Carmody Road, St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.


The intrinsic properties underlying cancer development are extensively studied while the effect of a cancer on the host is often overlooked. Activation of the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway underlies a number of types of common human cancers, yet little is known concerning endocrine signaling in such tumors. Here, we investigated endocrine signaling in a murine model of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the skin, the most common cancer. BCCs were generated by the activation of Hh signaling resulting from the specific deletion of the Ptch1 gene in the developing epidermis. Subsequently, a severe growth deficiency was observed in the murine BCC model, and we identified a deficiency of circulating IGF1 (Igf1). We demonstrate that Hh pathway activation in murine BCC induces IGF binding proteins, thereby regulating Igf1 sequestration into the skin and skewing Igf endocrine signaling. Significantly, these results show that Hh-induced tumors can have endocrine effects on normal tissues that in turn can greatly impact the host. This study not only identifies that Igf is important in Hh-associated skin tumors but also exemplifies the need to consider endocrine signaling when interpreting complex in vivo tumor models.


BCC; IGF; Patched1; skin

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