Expression of the insulin-like growth factors and their receptors in adenocarcinoma of the colon

S. Freier, O. Weiss, M. Eran, A. Flyvbjerg, R. Dahan, I. Nephesh, T. Safra, E. Shiloni, I. Raz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims - To study changes in the expression of insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and their receptors, as well as production of the IGF-I and IGF-II polypeptides, in adenocarcinoma of the colon. Methods - Malignant tissue obtained at operation was used. Total RNA was extracted and specific IGF-I and IGF-II and their receptor mRNAs were measured by a solution hybridisation RNase protection assay. IGF-I and IGF-II polypeptides were measured by specific immunoassays. Results - All normal tissues expressed IGF-II, IGF-I receptor, and IGF-II/mannose-6-phosphate (Man-6-P) receptor. IGF-I mRNA could not be detected but the polypeptide was present in small but equal amounts in normal and malignant tissue. IGF-II was expressed 40 times more abundantly in colonic tumours than in adjacent normal tissue and the concentration of the corresponding polypeptide was twice as high in the malignant tissue. IGF-I receptor expression was increased by a factor of 2.5 and IGF-II/Man-6-P receptor by a factor of 4. Conclusions - This study confirms that in adenocarcinoma of the human colon there is increased expression of IGF-I receptor and IGF-II. Furthermore, IGF-II/Man-6-P receptor message is increased and the increase in IGF-II message is accompanied by a doubling of the IGF-II protein in the tumour tissue compared with the adjacent normal tissue. These findings suggest that the IGF-II/Man-6-P receptor may also be involved in development of adenocarcinoma of the colon. There is rapidly accumulating evidence implicating the IGF system in the development of malignancy of the large bowel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)704-708
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Colon
  • Insulin-like growth factors


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