IGFBP2 promotes glioma tumor stem cell expansion and survival

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Jun 25;397(2):367-72. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.05.145. Epub 2010 May 31.


IGFBP2 is overexpressed in the most common brain tumor, glioblastoma (GBM), and its expression is inversely correlated to GBM patient survival. Previous reports have demonstrated a role for IGFBP2 in glioma cell invasion and astrocytoma development. However, the function of IGFBP2 in the restricted, self-renewing, and tumorigenic GBM cell population comprised of tumor-initiating stem cells has yet to be determined. Herein we demonstrate that IGFBP2 is overexpressed within the stem cell compartment of GBMs and is integral for the clonal expansion and proliferative properties of glioma stem cells (GSCs). In addition, IGFBP2 inhibition reduced Akt-dependent GSC genotoxic and drug resistance. These results suggest that IGFBP2 is a selective malignant factor that may contribute significantly to GBM pathogenesis by enriching for GSCs and mediating their survival. Given the current dearth of selective molecular targets against GSCs, we anticipate our results to be of high therapeutic relevance in combating the rapid and lethal course of GBM.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Cycle / genetics*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival
  • Clone Cells
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Glioblastoma / genetics
  • Glioblastoma / metabolism
  • Glioblastoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2 / genetics
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2 / metabolism*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt