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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression of insulinlike growth factor (IGF) and IGF-binding protein genes in human lung tumor cell lines.

BACKGROUND: The presence of multiple, low-molecular-weight, insulinlike growth factor (IGF)-binding proteins in lung tumor cell-conditioned medium and lung cancer patient serum has been recently reported. PURPOSE: To begin to elucidate the genetic basis for these observations, the present study examines the expression by lung tumor cell lines of three IGF-binding protein genes, namely, IGFBP-1, IGFBP-2, and IGFBP-3. Since IGF-binding proteins are thought to modulate the biologic action of the IGFs, the relationship between the expression of IGF-binding protein genes and the genes encoding IGF-I and IGF-II also has been investigated. METHODS: Gene expression was studied in four small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) and three non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines using Northern blot analysis and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for IGFBP-1. RESULTS: IGFBP-1 gene expression was detected by Northern blot analysis in one NSCLC cell line only. However, RT-PCR revealed that the IGFBP-1 gene was expressed in all four SCLC cell lines and in two of the three NSCLC lines. Northern blot analysis of IGFBP-2 gene expression demonstrated that all lung tumor cell lines expressed this gene. A low level of IGFBP-3 gene expression was detected in one SCLC cell line and in all three NSCLC cell lines. All lung tumor cell lines expressed the IGF-II gene as determined by Northern blot analysis. In marked contrast, none of the lines showed evidence of IGF-I gene expression using this method. However, RT-PCR revealed a low level of IGF-I gene expression in one SCLC and one NSCLC cell line only. CONCLUSIONS: These observations indicate 1) that IGF-binding proteins secreted by lung tumors are encoded by at least three different genes; 2) that there may be a close association between IGF-II and IGFBP-2 gene expression, such that, where there is production of IGF-II, IGFBP-2 is the principal BP; and 3) that the IGF-II gene is more widely expressed than the IGF-I gene in human lung tumor cell lines.[1]


  1. Expression of insulinlike growth factor (IGF) and IGF-binding protein genes in human lung tumor cell lines. Reeve, J.G., Brinkman, A., Hughes, S., Mitchell, J., Schwander, J., Bleehen, N.M. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. (1992) [Pubmed]
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