The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system exerts pleiotropic effects on mammalian cells. This review focuses on type I IGF receptor (IGF1R)-mediated signal transduction and its relevance in breast cancer. Upon activation by the IGFs, IGF1R, a transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor, undergoes autophosphorylation, and then binds and phosphorylates additional signaling molecules. These intermediates initiate a series of downstream signaling events that are involved in multiple physiologic processes for cells. Recent data demonstrate that the IGF receptor system actively interacts with the estrogen receptor and integrin receptor systems. Cross-talk among these pathways regulates breast cancer proliferation, protection from cell death, and metastasis. Better understanding of IGF biochemical signaling pathways is of utmost importance for developing therapies for breast cancer.
- Breast cancer
- Insulin-like growth factor
- Insulin-like growth factor receptor
- Signal transduction