IGF-1 receptor contributes to the malignant phenotype in human and canine osteosarcoma

E. Gregory MacEwen, Josep Pastor, Jonathan Kutzke, Rachel Tsan, Ilene D. Kurzman, Douglas H. Thamm*, Mike Wilson, Robert Radinsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


To further define the role of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and its receptor (IGF-1R) in osteosarcoma (OS), human OS cell lines with low (SAOS-2) and high (SAOS-LM2) metastatic potential and three canine OS-derived cell lines were studied. Cell lines were evaluated for: IGF-1R expression; expression of IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs); effect of IGF-1 on tumor cell growth, invasion, expression of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), and soluble uPA receptor (suPAR), and; ectopic and orthotopic tumorigenicity of the canine OS cells in athymic mice. All cell lines exhibited steady-state mRNA expression of IGF-1R. The SAOS-2 and SAOS-LM2 cells expressed 9,138 and 10,234 cell-associated binding sites, respectively. Canine OS cells expressed from 1,728 to 3,883 binding sites. Two IGF-1-treated cell lines displayed enhanced proliferation. Two cell lines formed colonies in semisolid media, and IGF-1 increased colony number. Matrigel invasion was enhanced in one cell line following IGF-1 treatment. uPA and suPAR were unchanged in SAOS-2 and SAOS-LM2 cells following IGF-1 treatment, but the highly metastatic OS line SAOS-LM2 expressed five times more suPAR and displayed enhanced invasion compared to the parental, low metastatic SAOS-2. IGFBP-5 was detected in four of five cell lines, and IGFBP-3 was detected in two canine OS cell lines. Two canine OS lines were tumorigenic, and one metastasized spontaneously. In conclusion, OS cells express IGF-1R, which can contribute to their growth and invasion. There is suggestive evidence that increasing receptor number may contribute to in vivo tumorigenesis. Additional studies are needed to determine how IGF-1/IGF-1R interactions contribute to the malignant phenotype of OS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-91
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Bone
  • Dog
  • Growth factor
  • IGF binding protein
  • IGF-1R
  • Invasion
  • Metastasis
  • sUPAR


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