Proliferative and signaling activities of insulin analogues in endometrial cancer cells

Daniel Aizen, Rive Sarfstein, Ilan Bruchim, Doron Weinstein, Zvi Laron, Haim Werner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Insulin analogues have been developed to achieve further improvement in the therapy of diabetes. However, modifications introduced into the insulin molecule may enhance their affinity for the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF1R). Hyperinsulinemia has been identified as a risk factor for endometrial cancer. We hypothesized that insulin analogues may elicit atypical proliferative and signaling activities in endometrial cancer cells. Our results demonstrate that glargine, but not detemir, stimulated cell proliferation, displayed an anti-apoptotic effect, and had a positive effect on cell cycle progression in endometrial cancer cell lines ECC-1 and USPC-1. In addition, we showed that glargine and detemir induced dual activation of the insulin receptor (INSR) and IGF1R in both cell types. Furthermore, we showed that glargine elicited signaling events that are markedly different from those induced by insulin. In conclusion, our data support the concept that, although insulin analogues were designed to display insulin-like metabolic effects, glargine and, possibly, additional analogues exhibit IGF1-like activities and, accordingly, may function as IGF1 analogues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-39
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
StatePublished - 5 May 2015


  • Endometrial cancer
  • IGF1 receptor
  • Insulin
  • Insulin analogues
  • Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1)


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