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Insulin-like grwoth factor-1 receptor (IGFIR) as a novel target in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

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Übelhart,  Rudolf
Research Group and Chair of Molecular Immunology of the University of Freiburg, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Schüler,  Julia
Research Group and Chair of Molecular Immunology of the University of Freiburg, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Jumaa,  Hassan
Research Group and Chair of Molecular Immunology of the University of Freiburg, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Yaktapour, N., Übelhart, R., Schüler, J., Aumann, K., Dierks, C., Burger, M., et al. (2013). Insulin-like grwoth factor-1 receptor (IGFIR) as a novel target in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Blood, 122, 1621-1633.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-88E0-A
Abstract
The receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF1R) is implicated in various tumor entities including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), but its functional significance in this disease remains poorly characterized. Here, we show that the IGF1R protein is overexpressed in various CLL subsets, suggesting a contri-bution to CLL pathology. Indeed, we show that IGF1R knockdown in primary human CLL cells compromised their viability. Likewise, IGF1R inhibition with 3 structurally distinct compounds induced apoptosis, even in the presence of protective stroma components. Furthermore, IGF1R inhibition effectively limited CLL development in Eμ-TCL1 transgenic mice and of primary human CLL xenografts. In agreement with its prosurvival function, IGF1R inhibition affected the phosphorylation and/or expression of multiple signaling proteins. The multikinase inhibitor sorafenib yielded similar effects on these signaling elements as IGF1R inhibitors. Indeed, IGF1R appears to be a direct sorafenib target because sorafenib decreased IGF1R expression and phosphorylation, counteracted insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) binding to CLL cells, and lowered the in vitro kinase activity of recombinant, purified IGF1R. Thus, we demonstrate that blockade of IGF1R-mediated signaling represents a novel mechanism of action for sorafenib in CLL. Importantly, IGF1R inhibitors compromise CLL viability in their microenvironment context, implicating this RTK as a promising therapeutic target.