The mannose 6-phosphate/insulin-like growth factor-II receptor (M6P/IGF-IIR) is thought to act as a suppressor of tumor growth by binding the mitogenic peptide IGF-II and modulating its extracellular levels via degradation. This receptor has been found to be absent or nonfunctional in a high proportion of breast tumors as a result of LOH and mutation of the gene. In our study, we have examined the effect of increasing expression of M6P/IGF-IIR on breast cancer cell tumorigenicity. MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells stably transfected with M6P/IGF-IIR cDNA exhibited not only a greatly reduced ability to form tumors but also a markedly reduced growth rate in nude mice. In vitro, increased M6P/IGF-IIR expression resulted in 2-fold reduced uptake of IGF-II and was associated with reduced cellular invasiness and motility. Cells with increased M6P/IGF-IIR expression exhibited reduced phosphorylation of IGF-I receptor and p44/42 MAPK compared to vector transfectants, or wild-type MDA-MB-231 cells. These results therefore suggest that M6P/IGF-IIR levels can modulate breast cancer cell tumorigenicity by a mechanism that may involve altered IGF-I receptor signaling.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.