Author(s): Surmacz E, Guvakova MA, Nolan MK, Nicosia RF, Sciacca L, Surmacz E, Guvakova MA, Nolan MK, Nicosia RF, Sciacca L, Surmacz E, Guvakova MA, Nolan MK, Nicosia RF, Sciacca L, Surmacz E, Guvakova MA, Nolan MK, Nicosia RF, Sciacca L
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Abstract Experimental evidence suggests an important role of the type I IGF receptor (IGF-IR) in breast cancer development. Breast tumors and breast cancer cell lines express the IGF-IR. IGF-IR levels are higher in cancer cells than in normal breast tissue or in benign mammary tumors. The ligands of the IGF-IR are potent mitogens promoting monolayer and anchorage-independent growth of breast cancer cells. Interference with IGF-IR activation, expression, or signaling inhibits growth and induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells. In addition, recent studies established the involvement of the IGF-IR in the regulation of breast cancer cell motility and adhesion. We have demonstrated that in MCF-7 cells, overexpression of the IGF-IR promotes E-cadherin-dependent cell aggregation, which is associated with enhanced cell proliferation and prolonged survival in three-dimensional culture. The expression or function of the IGF-IR in breast cancer cells is modulated by different humoral factors, such as estrogen, progesterone, IGF-II, and interleukin-1. The IGF-IR and the estrogen receptor (ER) are usually co-expressed and the two signaling systems are engaged in a complex functional cross-talk controlling cell proliferation. Despite the convincing experimental evidence, the role of the IGF-IR in breast cancer etiology, especially in metastatic progression, is still not clear. The view emerging from cellular and animal studies is that abnormally high levels of IGF-IRs may contribute to the increase of tumor mass and/or aid tumor recurrence, by promoting proliferation, cell survival, and cell-cell interactions. However, in breast cancer, except for the well established correlation with ER status, the associations of the IGF-IR with other prognostic parameters are still insufficiently documented.
This article was published in Breast Cancer Res Treat
and referenced in Research & Reviews: Journal of Botanical Sciences