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Inhibition of hepatocellular carcinoma cell growth by an anti-insulin-like growth factor-I receptor monoclonal antibody

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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) overexpresses insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGF-IR), as compared with normal hepatocytes. Since IGF-1R-mediated signaling promotes survival, oncogenic transformation and tumor growth and spread, it represents a potential target for treating HCC. Here, we have generated a murine anti-IGF-1R antibody, 4F2, that recognizes the IGF-IRα subunit and blocks in┬ávitro IGF-I and IGF-II-induced cell proliferation of SMMC-7721 and Bel-7402 HCC cell lines. 4F2 can inhibit IGF-IR autophosphorylation, IRS-1 phosphorylation and the activation of the major downstream signaling molecules AKT and mitogen-activated protein kinase. Additionally, we observed a moderate increase in apoptosis as demonstrated by detection of changes in the expression of the pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic proteins Bax and Bcl-2 after 4F2 treatment. Combined treatment with 4F2 and doxorubicin was more effective in reducing cell proliferation and promoting apoptosis than either agent alone. These data support that therapeutic anti-IGF-IR antibodies are potential new agents for treating HCC.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Oncology, Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Medical College, Qingdao, P.R. China 2: Shanghai Xuhui Central Hospital, Shanghai, P.R. China 3: State Key Laboratory of Oncogenes and Related Genes, Renji Hospital, Medical School of Shanghai JiaoTong University, Shanghai, P.R. China 4: Central Laboratory, Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Medical College, Qingdao, P.R. China

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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