Enforced epithelial expression of IGF-1 causes hyperplastic prostate growth while negative selection is requisite for spontaneous metastogenesis
Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
The insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) signaling axis is important for cell growth, differentiation and survival and increased serum IGF is a risk factor for prostate and other cancers. To study IGF-1 action on the prostate, we created transgenic (PB-Des) mice that specifically express human IGF-1(des) in prostate epithelial cells. This encodes a mature isoform of IGF-1 with decreased affinity for IGF binding proteins (IGFBP) due to a 3-amino acid deletion in the N terminus. Expression of IGF-1(des) was sufficient to cause hyperplastic lesions in all mice, however the well-differentiated lesions did not progress to adenocarcinoma within a year. Remarkably, crossing the PB-Des mice to an established model of prostate cancer delayed progression of organ-confined tumors and emergence of metastatic lesions in young mice. While dissemination of metastatic lesions was widespread in old bigenic mice we did not detect IGF-1(des) in poorly differentiated primary tumors or metastatic lesions. Expression of endogenous IGF-1 and levels of P-Akt and P-Erk were reduced independent of age. These data suggest that increased physiologic levels of IGF-1 facilitate the emergence of hyperplastic lesions while imposing a strong IGF-1-dependent differentiation block. Selection against IGF-1 action appears requisite for progression of localized disease and metastogenesis.