The insulin receptor (IR) and insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF1R) are receptor tyrosine kinases that participate in mitogenic and antiapoptotic signaling in normal and neoplastic epithelia. In the present study, immunoblotting and reverse transcription-PCR demonstrated expression of IGF1R and IR isoform A in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) cell lines as well as in >80% of clinical AML isolates. Treatment with insulin enhanced signaling through the Akt and MEK1/2 pathways as well as survival of serum-starved AML cell lines. Conversely, treatment with BMS-536924, a dual IGF1R/IR kinase inhibitor that is undergoing preclinical testing, inhibited constitutive receptor phosphorylation as well as downstream signaling through MEK1/2 and Akt. These changes inhibited proliferation and, in some AML cell lines, induced apoptosis at submicromolar concentrations. Likewise, BMS-536924 inhibited leukemic colony formation in CD34+ clinical AML samples in vitro. Collectively, these results not only indicate that expression of IGF1R and IR isoform A is common in AML but also show that interruption of signaling from these receptors inhibits proliferation in clinical AML isolates. Accordingly, further investigation of IGF1R/IR axis as a potential therapeutic target in AML appears warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research