The precise role of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-5 (IGFBP-5) in regulating the growth of tumor cells, especially of bone-derived malignant cells, is not well understood. We have investigated the biological activity of IGFBP-5 by transfecting OS/50-K8 mouse osteosarcoma cells with an expression vector containing the osteocalcin promoter and the complete mouse IGFBP-5 cDNA (OC-IGFBP-5). Overexpression of IGFBP-5 mRNA and secretion of increased amounts of bioactive protein in conditioned media were demonstrated in different clones. For the analysis of cell proliferation, three clones exhibiting high levels of IGFBP-5 expression were selected and compared to a mock clone and to nontransfected parental cells. IGFBP-5-secreting clones displayed reduced proliferation under both anchorage-dependent and -independent conditions (P < 0.05). The increase in proliferation observed in IGFBP-5-secreting clones after addition of exogenous IGF was significantly lower than that observed in mock-transfected or parental cells. A similar result was obtained with long[R3]IGF-I which has a low affinity for all IGFBPs, suggesting that the inhibitory effect of IGFBP-5 is only partially IGF-dependent. OC-IGFBP-5-transfected clones expressed significantly higher amounts of osteocalcin mRNA (P < 0.05) and secreted more osteocalcin protein than a mock clone or parental OS-50/K8 cells. Thus, part of the growth-inhibiting effect of IGFBP-5 may be due to an induction of differentiation in these cells.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.