The role of insulin-like growth factor I and its receptor in cell growth, transformation, apoptosis, and chemoresistance in solid tumors
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Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) exerts pleiotropic effects on mammalian cells via stimulation of its receptor (IGF-IR), a receptor tyrosine kinase. In vivo, IGF-I acts both as a local tissue growth factor and as a circulating hormone. In oncological research, IGF-I has received increased attention as the activated IGF-I/IGF-IR system displays mitogeneic, transforming, and anti-apoptotic properties in various cell types by stimulating distinct intracellular signaling pathways. Recent data suggest that the anti-apoptotic effect of IGF-I may mediate decreased sensitivity to chemotherapeutic drugs in vitro and in vivo. Thus, targeting the IGF-I/IGF-IR system could serve as an approach to overcome clinical drug resistance in certain tumors.
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