Aurintricarboxylic acid induces a distinct activation of the igf-i receptor signaling within mda-231 cells

Michal Haimsohn, Rachel Beery, Avraham Karasik, Hannah Kanety, Avraham Geier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA), a polymeric carboxylated triphenylmethane derivate, prevents apoptotic death in a variety of cell systems. Recently, we have shown that the survival promoting effect of ATA is transduced via activation of the IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) signaling pathway. In breast cancer MDA-231 cells exposed either to the protein synthesis inhibitors cycloheximide or ricin or to the anticancer drug adriamycin, we have found that ATA, but not IGF-1, is a powerful antiapoptotic agent. The purpose of this study was to compare the ability of ATA and IGF-I to activate the IGF-IR signaling cascade and to correlate this ability to their survival potency. MDA-231 cells were exposed to ATA or IGF-I, up to 7 h, and the dynamics of activation of the IGF-IR signaling cascade was evaluated. Our results show that: 1) The amount of tyrosine phosphorylated IGF-IR proteins was greater after exposure to ATA, compared with IGF-I. 2) Two phosphorylated IGF-IR β-subunits (a 95-kDa and a 75-kDa) were induced after exposure to ATA, whereas IGF-1 induced only the 95-kDa form. Immunoprecipitation of both receptor forms by antibodies against the α-subunit and against the carboxy terminus of the β-subunit of the IGF-IR suggests that the 75-kDa form could be the β-chain truncated at the amino terminus above the α-β disulphide bridges. 3) The ATA-activated IGF-IR forms underwent slow dephosphorylation, compared with a rapid dephosphorylation of the IGF-I activated receptor. 4) The insulin receptor substrate-1/2-associated PI3K, Shc proteins, and the kinases Akt and Erk1/2, downstream mediators of the antiapoptotic signaling by IGF-IR, were activated to a higher extent and for a longer time period by ATA, compared with IGF-I. Taken together, the sustained activation of the IGF-IR signaling pathway by ATA may explain its stronger antiapoptotic effect. We suggest that this enhanced activity, and the different susceptibility of the IGF-IR to certain proteases and phosphatases, may indicate a distinct conformation of the ATA-activated IGF-IR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-845
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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