Inhibition of IGF-1 Signaling by Genistein: Modulation of E-cadherin Expression and Downregulation of β-catenin Signaling in Hormone Refractory PC-3 Prostate Cancer Cells

Nutr Cancer. 2012;64(1):153-62. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2012.630161. Epub 2011 Nov 18.


Elevated levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) are associated with an increased risk of several different cancers, including prostate cancer. Inhibition of IGF-1 and the downstream signaling pathways mediated by the activation of the IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) may be involved in inhibiting prostate carcinogenesis. We investigated whether genistein downregulated the IGF-1/IGF-1R signaling pathway and inhibited cell growth in hormone refractory PC-3 prostate cancer cells. Genistein treatment caused a significant inhibition of IGF-1-stimulated cell growth. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that genistein significantly decreased the number of IGF-1-stimulated cells in the G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle. In IGF-1-treated cells, genistein effectively inhibited the phosphorylation of IGF-1R and the phosphorylation of its downstream targets, such as Src, Akt, and glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSk-3β). IGF-1 treatment decreased the levels of E-cadherin but increased the levels of β-catenin and cyclin D1. However, genistein treatment greatly attenuated IGF-1-induced β-catenin signaling that correlated with increasing the levels of E-cadherin and decreasing cyclin D1 levels in PC-3 cells. In addition, genistein inhibited T-cell factor/lymphoid enhancer factor (TCF/LEF)-dependent transcriptional activity. These results showed that genistein effectively inhibited cell growth in IGF-1-stimulated PC-3 cells, possibly by inhibiting downstream of IGF-1R activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cadherins / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Genistein / pharmacology*
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 / metabolism
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1 / metabolism
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3 / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins pp60(c-src) / metabolism
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1 / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Tyrosine / metabolism
  • beta Catenin / metabolism*


  • Cadherins
  • beta Catenin
  • Tyrosine
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Genistein
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins pp60(c-src)
  • GSK3B protein, human
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • MAPK1 protein, human
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3