Mifepristone inhibits IGF-1 signaling pathway in the treatment of uterine leiomyomas

Qi Shen, Shuangwei Zou, Bo Sheng, Menghuang Zhao, Lu Zhe Sun, Xueqiong Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate the role of IGF-1 signaling pathway in the treatment of uterine leiomyomas with mifepristone. Patients and methods: From October 2015 to December 2018, 50 patients with uterine leiomyoma were included in this study. Overexpression or siRNA of IGF-1 in primary human uterine leiomyoma cells were treated with or without mifepristone. MTT was used to evaluate cell viability in assays of cell proliferation and cytotoxicity. IGF-1 expression in the cells was measured with real-time RT-PCR and Western blotting and manipulated with lentivirus ectopic overexpression or siRNA silencing. Results: Inhibition of cell viability by mifepristone was found dependent on drug concentration and treatment time. IGF-1 and phosphorylation-ERK1/2 expression were decreased, while phosphorylation-AKT expression was increased after mifepristone treatment. IGF-1 significantly promoted cell growth, while IGF-1 knockdown and mifepristone showed synergistic inhibition effects on cell growth. The overexpression of IGF-1 reversed the inhibition of cell growth and ERK1/2 phosphorylation but showed no effect on AKT phosphorylation. Conclusion: Our study for the first time demonstrated that IGF-1 signaling via ERK1/2 appears to be an important target of mifepristone in the treatment of uterine leiomyomas, which may provide a new approach to avoid leiomyoma re-growth after cessation of mifepristone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3161-3170
Number of pages10
JournalDrug Design, Development and Therapy
StatePublished - 2019


  • IGF-1
  • Mifepristone
  • Signal pathway
  • Uterine leiomyomas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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