Impact of insulin-like growth factor receptor-i function on angiogenesis, growth, and metastasis of colon cancer

Niels Reinmuth, Fan Fan, Wenbiao Liu, Alexander A. Parikh, Oliver Stoeltzing, Young D. Jung, Corazon D. Bucana, Robert Radinsky, Gary E. Gallick, Lee M. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


Insulin-like growth factors and their principal receptor, IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR), are frequently expressed in human colon cancers and play a role in preventing apoptosis, enhancing cell proliferation, and inducing expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The role of IGF-IR in regulating angiogenesis and metastases of human colon cancer has not been elucidated. To determine the in vitro and in vivo effects of IGF-IR in human colon cancer growth and angiogenesis, human KM12L4 colon cancer cells were transfected with a truncated dominant-negative form of IGF-IR (IGF-IR dom-neg). IGF-IR dom-neg-transfected cells demonstrated markedly decreased constitutive expression of VEGF mRNA and protein. Subcutaneous injections of IGF-IR dom-neg-transfected cells in nude mice led to significantly decreased tumor growth (p < 0.05) that was associated with decreased tumor cell proliferation, VEGF expression, and vessel count and with increased tumor cell apoptosis (p < 0.05 for all parameters compared with controls). In addition, pericyte coverage of endothelial cells was significantly decreased in tumors from IGF-IR dom-neg-transfected cells. Following this observation, we demonstrated in vitro that vascular smooth muscle cells migrated significantly less in conditioned medium derived from IGF-IR dom-neg-transfected cells compared with medium from control cells. After splenic injections, IGF-IR dom-neg transfectants failed to produce liver metastases, in contrast to parental cells and mock transfectants (p < 0.05). In addition, IGF-IR dom-neg-transfected cells failed to form liver tumors after direct injection into the liver. These studies demonstrate that the IGF-IR plays an important role in multiple mechanisms that mediate the growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis of human colon cancer. IGF-IR is a valid target for the therapy of human colon cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1377-1389
Number of pages13
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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