Laron Syndrome Research Paves the Way for New Insights in Oncological Investigation

Haim Werner, Rive Sarfstein, Karthik Nagaraj, Zvi Laron

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Laron syndrome (LS) is a rare genetic endocrinopathy that results from mutation of the growth hormone receptor (GH-R) gene and is typically associated with dwarfism and obesity. LS is the best characterized entity under the spectrum of the congenital insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) deficiencies. Epidemiological analyses have shown that LS patients do not develop cancer, whereas heterozygous family members have a cancer prevalence similar to the general population. To identify genes and signaling pathways differentially represented in LS that may help delineate a biochemical and molecular basis for cancer protection, we have recently conducted a genome-wide profiling of LS patients. Studies were based on our collection of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from LS patients, relatives and healthy controls. Bioinformatic analyses identified differences in gene expression in several pathways, including apoptosis, metabolic control, cytokine biology, Jak-STAT and PI3K-AKT signaling, etc. Genes involved in the control of cell cycle, motility, growth and oncogenic transformation are, in general, down-regulated in LS. These genetic events seem to have a major impact on the biological properties of LS cells, including proliferation, apoptosis, response to oxidative stress, etc. Furthermore, genomic analyses allowed us to identify novel IGF1 downstream target genes that have not been previously linked to the IGF1 signaling pathway. In summary, by 'mining' genomic data from LS patients, we were able to generate clinically-relevant information in oncology and, potentially, related disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2454
Issue number11
StatePublished - 9 Nov 2020


  • cancer protection
  • growth hormone
  • growth hormone receptor
  • insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1)
  • Laron syndrome


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