IGFBP-3: a cell fate pivot in cancer and disease.


One of the hallmarks in the advancement of cancer cells is an ability to overcome and acquire resistance to adverse conditions. There has been a large amount of cancer research on IGFBP-3 as a pro-apoptotic molecule in vitro. These pro-apoptotic properties, however, do not correlate with several studies linking high IGFBP-3 levels in breast cancer tissue to rapid growth and poor prognosis. Evidence is emerging that IGFBP-3 also exhibits pro-survival and growth-promoting properties in vitro. How IGFBP-3 pivots cell fate to either death or survival, it seems, comes down to a complex interplay between cells' microenvironments and the presence of cellular IGFBP-3 binding partners and growth factor receptors. The cytoprotective actions of IGFBP-3 are not restricted to cancer but are also observed in other disease states, such as retinopathy and brain ischaemia. Here we review the literature on this paradoxical nature of IGFBP-3, its pro-apoptotic and growth-inhibitory actions versus its cytoprotective and growth-potentiating properties, and discuss the implications of targeting IGFBP-3 for treatment of disease.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ghir.2014.04.007
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@article{Johnson2014IGFBP3AC, title={IGFBP-3: a cell fate pivot in cancer and disease.}, author={Michael A. Johnson and Sue M. Firth}, journal={Growth hormone & IGF research : official journal of the Growth Hormone Research Society and the International IGF Research Society}, year={2014}, volume={24 5}, pages={164-73} }