[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vascular permeability factor/vascular endothelial growth factor (VPF/VEGF), the critical molecule in tumor angiogenesis, is regulated by different stimuli, such as hypoxia and oncogenes, and also by growth factors. Previously we have shown that in AsPC-1 pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells, insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-IR) regulates VPF/VEGF expression. Insulin receptor substrate-1 and -2 (IRS-1 and IRS-2), two major downstream molecules of IGF-1R, are known to be important in the genesis of diabetes. In this study, we have defined a new role of IRS in angiogenesis. Both of the IRS proteins modulate VPF/VEGF expression in pancreatic cancer cells by different mechanistic pathways. The Sp1-dependent VPF/VEGF transcription is regulated mainly by IRS-2. Protein kinase C-zeta (PKC-zeta) plays a central role in VPF/VEGF expression and acts as a switching element. Furthermore, we have also demonstrated that the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway, but not the Ras pathway, is a downstream event of IRS proteins for VPF/VEGF expression in AsPC-1 cells. Interestingly, like renal cancer cells, in AsPC-1 cells PKC-zeta leads to direct Sp1-dependent VPF/VEGF transcription; in addition, it also promotes a negative feedback loop to IRS-2 that decreases the association of IRS-2/IGF-1R and IRS-2/p85. Taken together, our results show that in AsPC-1 pancreatic carcinoma cells, Sp1-dependent VPF/VEGF transcription is controlled by IGF-1R signaling through IRS-2 proteins and modulated by a negative feedback loop of PKC-zeta to IRS-2. Our data also suggest that IRS proteins, which are known to play crucial roles in IGF-1R signaling, are also important mediators for tumor angiogenesis.