Insulin-like Growth Factor II mRNA Expression in Human Breast Cancer

Douglas Yee, Kevin J. Cullen, Soonmyoung Paik, James F. Perdue, Brian Hampton, Arnold Schwartz, Marc E. Lippman, Neal Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

239 Scopus citations


Insulin-like growth factor II is a growth factor important in fetal development. Several cancer tissues and cell lines have been reported to express IGF-II and rat IGF-II is mitogenic for breast cancer cell lines. Using Northern analysis and ribonuclease protection assays, IGF-II mRNA was detected in normal fibroblasts and in the established breast cancer cell line, T47D. In this cell line, steady state levels of IGF-II message were increased by treatment with estradiol. 10 nM IGF-II, purified from human serum, was mitogenic for breast cancer cell lines. In vitro, IGF-II may act as an autocrine growth factor for some cell lines. RNA derived from breast cancer, pathologically normal breast tissue, and benign breast disease also contained IGF-II mRNA. When paired samples of normal and cancer tissue were obtained from the breast of the same patient, the level of IGF-II mRNA expression in the normal tissue was at least that found in the cancer. This is consistent with previous observations that show IGF-II is expressed in mesenchyme. These findings suggest that in breast cancer IGF-II is produced by stromal tissue elements and potentially by the malignant epithelial cells. Therefore, IGF-II may function as an autocrine or a paracrine growth factor in different breast tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6691-6696
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1988


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