Open Access

Silencing of the type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor increases the sensitivity to apoptosis and inhibits invasion in human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells

Cellular & Molecular Biology LettersAn International Journal200712:22

Received: 2 February 2007

Accepted: 2 April 2007

Published: 24 June 2007


The type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R), which is over-expressed or activated in many human cancers, including lung cancer, mediates cancer cell proliferation and metastasis. Several studies indicate that blocking IGF-1R expression can inhibit tumor cell proliferation and metastasis. In this study, inhibition of the endogenous IGF-1R by recombinant adenoviruses encoding short hairpin RNAs against IGF-1R was found to significantly suppress IGF-1R expression, arrest the cell cycle, enhance the apoptotic response, and inhibit proliferation, adhesion, invasion and migration in A549 cells. Moreover, silencing IGF-1R decreases the expression of invasive-related genes including matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), MMP-9, and urokinase-plasminogen activator (u-PA), and the phosphorylation of Akt and ERK1/2. These results suggest that the silencing of IGF-1R has the potential to be an effective cancer gene therapy strategy for human lung cancer.

Key words

IGF-1R Lung cancer Short hairpin RNA MMPs Apoptosis Metastasis