Nuclear translocation of IGF-1R via p150(Glued) and an importin-β/RanBP2-dependent pathway in cancer cells

Oncogene. 2015 Apr 23;34(17):2227-38. doi: 10.1038/onc.2014.165. Epub 2014 Jun 9.


Mounting evidence has shown that the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) has critical roles in cancer cell growth. This has prompted pharmacological companies to develop agents targeting the receptor. Surprisingly, clinical trials using specific IGF-1R antibodies have, however, revealed disappointing results. Further understanding of the role of IGF-1R in cancer cells is therefore necessary for development of efficient therapeutic strategies. Recently, we showed that IGF-1R is sumoylated and translocated into the cell nucleus where it activates gene transcription. Several other studies have confirmed our findings and it has been reported that nuclear IGF-1R (nIGF-1R) has prognostic and predictive impact in cancer. To increase the understanding of IGF-1R in cancer cells, we here present the first study that proposes a pathway by which IGF-1R translocates into the cell nucleus. We could demonstrate that IGF-1R first associates with the dynactin subunit p150(Glued), which transports the receptor to the nuclear pore complex, where it co-localizes with importin-β followed by association with RanBP2. Sumoylation of IGF-1R seems to be required for interaction with RanBP2, which in turn may serve as the SUMO E3 ligase. In the context of sumoylation, we provided evidence that it may favor nIGF-1R accumulation by increasing the stability of the receptor. Taken together, topographic and functional interactions between dynactin, importin-β and RanBP2 are involved in nuclear translocation of IGF-1R. Our results provide new understanding of IGF-1R in cancer, which in turn may contribute to development of new therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Active Transport, Cell Nucleus / genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Nucleus / genetics
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Cell Nucleus / pathology
  • Dynactin Complex
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Chaperones / genetics
  • Molecular Chaperones / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins / metabolism*
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1 / genetics
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Sumoylation / genetics
  • beta Karyopherins / genetics
  • beta Karyopherins / metabolism*


  • DCTN1 protein, human
  • Dynactin Complex
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins
  • beta Karyopherins
  • ran-binding protein 2
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1