Overlaps Between the Insulin and IGF-I Receptor and Cancer

  • Antonino BelfioreEmail author
  • Roberta Malaguarnera
Part of the Cancer Drug Discovery and Development book series (CDD&D)


Dysregulation of the insulin growth factor (IGF) system is implicated in various aspects of cancer. Notably, the physiological signaling specificity existing between insulin and insulin-like growth factors I and II (IGFs) is often disrupted in cancer by various mechanisms. These may include overexpression of IGFs and of IGF-I receptors (IGF-IR), aberrant expression of insulin receptor isoform A, and appearance of atypical receptors that bind both insulin and IGFs. Enhanced cross talk between insulin and the IGF-I receptors may also result from insulin resistance and chronic hyperinsulinemia, newly recognized risk factors for cancer. All these factors associated with reduced signaling specificity between insulin and IGFs may also activate unbalanced intracellular signaling more strongly coupled to protumoral biological effects than to metabolic effects. A better knowledge of the molecular mechanisms involved may have profound implications in cancer prevention and therapy.


Insulin Resistance Insulin Receptor Insulin Growth Factor Compensatory Hyperinsulinemia Insulin Target Tissue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Insulin growth factor


Insulin receptor


IGF-I receptor


IGF-binding protein

IRS-1 and -2

Insulin receptor substrates 1 and -2


Hybrid receptor


Growth hormone


Mitogen-activated protein kinase


Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase


Nonesterified fatty acids


Protein kinase C


Type 2 diabetes mellitus


Mannose-6-phosphate/IGF-II receptor



This work was partially supported by grants from the AIRC (Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro) and PRIN-MIUR 2008 (Ministero Italiano Università e Ricerca) to A.B.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Endocrinology, Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineUniversity of CatanzaroCatanzaroItaly

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