Loss of Imprinting of IGF2: A Common Epigenetic Modifier of Intestinal Tumor Risk

Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 9.33). 01/2006; 65(24):11236-40. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-2959
Source: PubMed


Epigenetic alterations in cancer occur at least as commonly as genetic mutations, but epigenetic alterations could occur secondarily to the tumor process itself. To establish a causal role of epigenetic changes, investigators have turned to genetically engineered mouse models. Here, we review a recent study showing that a mouse model of loss of imprinting (LOI) of the insulin-like growth factor II gene (Igf2), which shows aberrant activation of the normally silent maternal allele, modifies the risk of intestinal neoplasia caused by mutations of the adenomatous polyposis coli (Apc) gene. This increased risk corresponds to the apparent increased risk of colorectal cancer in patients with LOI of IGF2. The model suggests that preexisting epigenetic alterations in normal cells increase tumor risk by expanding the target cell population and/or modulating the effect of subsequent genetic alterations on these cells, providing a novel idea for cancer risk management.

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    • "Some tumor types, including hepatocellular carcinoma and breast cancer, have been associated with loss of heterozygosity of the IGF2R gene[22]. Loss of imprinting of IGF-2 (loss of methylation resulting in biallelic expression), first described in Wilms tumor, has since been identified in adult tumors and is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer[23],[24]. These genetic changes may increase IGF-2 production or its bioavailability for IGF-1R signaling. "
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    ABSTRACT: Type I insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R) has long been recognized for its role in tumorigenesis and growth, but only recently have the tools for targeting the IGF pathway become available. More than 10 IGF/IGF-1R inhibitors have entered clinical trials, and these belong to three main classes: (1) monoclonal antibodies against IGF-1R, (2) monoclonal antibodies against IGF-1R ligands (IGF-1 and IGF-2), and (3) IGF-1R tyrosine kinase inhibitors. These IGF-1R-targeting agents share common effects on IGF-1R signaling but differ in mechanisms of action, spectrum of target inhibition, and pharmacological features. Clinical activity of IGF-1R inhibitors has been demonstrated with sustained responses in a small number of patients with select tumor types, such as Ewing sarcoma and thymoma. However, many large clinical trials involving patients with adult tumors, including non-small cell lung cancer, breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer, failed to show clinical benefit in the overall patient population. Possible reasons for failure include the complexity of the IGF-1R/insulin receptor system and parallel growth and survival pathways, as well as a lack of patient selection markers. While IGF-1R remains a valid target for selected tumor types, identification of predictive markers and rational combinations will be critical to success in future development.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Ai zheng = Aizheng = Chinese journal of cancer
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    • "This is an important therapeutic criterion as all human cancers are exposed to IGF-1 and IGF-2 due to hepatic endocrine synthesis, tumor stroma expression, and autocrine activation [16]. In addition, IGF-2 is a well-described transforming growth factor whose elevated expression as a result of loss of imprinting can be found in a considerable percentage of human cancers [17]. Our data on inhibition of ligand binding appears to have revealed a difference in ligand binding affinity to ligand-binding sites 1 and 2 on IGF1R. "
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    ABSTRACT: Therapeutic antibodies targeting the IGF1R have shown diverse efficacy and safety signals in oncology clinical trials. The success of these agents as future human therapeutics depends on understanding the specific mechanisms by which these antibodies target IGF1R signaling. A panel of well-characterized assays was used to investigate the mechanisms by which ganitumab, a fully human anti-IGF1R antibody undergoing clinical testing, inhibits IGF1R activity. Epitope mapping using IGF1R subdomains localized the ganitumab binding site to the L2 domain. Binding of ganitumab inhibited the high-affinity interaction of IGF-1 and IGF-2 required to activate IGF1R in cells engineered for IGF1R hypersensitivity and in human cancer cell lines, resulting in complete blockade of ligand-induced cellular proliferation. Inhibition of IGF1R activity by ganitumab did not depend on endosomal sequestration, since efficient ligand blockade was obtained without evidence of receptor internalization and degradation. Clinically relevant concentrations of ganitumab also inhibited the activation of hybrid receptors by IGF-1 and IGF-2. Ganitumab was not an agonist of homodimeric IGF1R or hybrid receptors in MCF-7 and COLO 205 cells, but low-level IGF1R activation was detected in cells engineered for IGF1R hypersensitivity. This activation seems biologically irrelevant since ganitumab completely inhibited ligand-driven proliferation. The in vivo efficacy profile of ganitumab was equivalent or better than CR and FnIII-1 domain-specific antibodies, alone or in combination with irinotecan. CR domain-specific antibodies only blocked IGF-1 binding to IGF1R but were more potent than ganitumab at inducing homodimer and hybrid receptor downregulation in vitro, however this difference was less obvious in vivo. No inhibition of hybrid receptors was observed with the FnIII-1 domain antibodies, which were relatively strong homodimer and hybrid agonists. The safety and efficacy profile of ganitumab and other anti-IGF1R antibodies may be explained by the distinct molecular mechanisms by which they inhibit receptor signaling.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "As epigenetic changes such as LOI and demethylation occur early in cancer progression, detection of such changes may be relevant for early cancer detection and prevention. LOI of IGF2 has previously been described in normal circulating peripheral blood lymphocytes of individuals with an increased risk to develop colorectal cancer (11, 12, 13). "
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    ABSTRACT: Insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) is the predominant IGF in adults and regulates cell growth. In contrast to normal tissues, where IGF2 is imprinted and only expressed from the paternal allele, loss of imprinting (LOI) and biallelic IGF2 expression are observed in many cancers including prostate cancer (PCa). We here studied whether LOI of IGF2 in normal circulating peripheral blood lymphocytes can predict increased PCa risk. We analyzed IGF2 protein levels, IGF2 820G/A genotype and imprinting status, as well as methylation status of the IGF2 imprinting control region (ICR) in 113 blood samples of patients with a history of radical prostatectomy (RPE) for PCa by ELISA, restriction-fragment length polymorphism, and bisulfite-DNA sequencing. Results were compared to 249 male blood donors with unknown prostate specific antigen (PSA) status. The 820G/A genotype was enriched in the RPE group and was associated with younger age at cancer diagnosis. LOI in patients was only slightly more frequent than in controls, but IGF2 levels were significantly higher and uncoupled from the imprinting status. Analysis of the IGF2/H19 ICR revealed marked hypermethylation. The IGF 820G/A genotype is associated with PCa diagnosis at younger age. Increased IGF2 in patients with PCa appears to be the result of impaired imprinting in non-neoplastic cells rather than a paracrine tumor product. Uncoupling of IGF2 protein levels from imprinting status (not LOI alone) and hypermethylation of the ICR characterized PCa patients and could have the potential to indicate persons at risk in screening programs.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Endocrine Connections
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