Inhibition of IGF-1 inhibits VEGF expression, angiogenesis, and growth in panc cancer



Am J Pathol. 2003 Sep;163(3):1001-11.

Regulation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha, vascular endothelial growth factor, and angiogenesis
by an insulin-like growth factor-I receptor autocrine loop in human pancreatic cancer.

Stoeltzing O, Liu W, Reinmuth N, Fan F, Parikh AA, Bucana CD, Evans DB, Semenza GL, Ellis LM.

Department of Cancer Biology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe
Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030-4009, USA.

Activation of the insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGF-IR) was recently shown to modulate
angiogenesis by up-regulating the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). We
hypothesized that inhibiting IGF-IR function would inhibit angiogenesis and growth of pancreatic
cancer in vivo and sought to identify major signaling pathways regulated by IGF-IR in pancreatic
cancer cells. Human pancreatic cancer cells (L3.6pl) were stably transfected with a dominant-
negative form of IGF-IR (IGF-IR DN) or an empty vector (pcDNA). In vitro, IGF-IR DN cells exhibited
a decrease in both constitutive and inducible phosphorylation of IGF-IR and Erk1/2. Constitutive
expression of nuclear hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha and secreted VEGF (P < 0.01) protein levels
also were significantly lower in IGF-IR DN cells than in pcDNA cells. In vivo, IGF-IR inhibition led
to decreases in pancreatic tumor volume and weight, vessel density, and tumor cell proliferation (P
< 0.01 for all) and increases in tumor cell apoptosis (P < 0.02). Our results suggest that autocrine
activation of the IGF-IR system significantly affects VEGF expression and angiogenesis in human
pancreatic cancer. Thus, IGF-IR may be a valid target in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.