Identification of a unique loss-of-function mutation in IGF1R and a crosstalk between IGF1R and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2018 Jun;1865(6):920-931. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2018.03.013. Epub 2018 Apr 3.


IGF1R is a ubiquitous receptor tyrosine kinase that plays critical roles in cell proliferation, growth and survival. Clinical studies have demonstrated upregulation of IGF1R mediated signaling in a number of malignancies including colon, breast, and lung cancers. Overexpression of the IGF1R in these malignancies is associated with a poor prognosis and overall survival. IGF1R specific kinase inhibitors have failed in multiple clinical trials partly because of the complex nature of IGF1R signaling. Thus identifying new binding partners and allosteric sites on IGF1R are emerging areas of research. More recently, IGF1R has been shown to translocate into the nucleus and perform many functions. In this study, we generated a library of IGF1R deletion and point mutants to examine IGF1R subcellular localization and activation of downstream signaling pathways. We show that the nuclear localization of IGF1R is primarily defined by its cytoplasmic domain. We identified a cross-talk between IGF1R and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways and showed, for the first time, that IGF1R is associated with upregulation of TCF-mediated β-catenin transcriptional activity. Using loss-of-function mutants, deletion analysis and IGF1R specific inhibitor(s), we show that cytoplasmic and nuclear activities are two independent functions of IGF1R. Furthermore, we identified a unique loss-of-function mutation in IGF1R. This unique loss-of-function mutant retains only nuclear functions and sits in a pocket, outside ATP and substrate binding region, that is suited for designing allosteric inhibitors of IGF1R.

Keywords: IGF1R; PI3K/Akt; Receptor Tyrosine Kinases; Wnt/β-catenin signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • HEK293 Cells
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Loss of Function Mutation*
  • Protein Domains
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1
  • Receptors, Somatomedin* / genetics
  • Receptors, Somatomedin* / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation / physiology*
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / physiology*
  • beta Catenin / genetics
  • beta Catenin / metabolism


  • IGF1R protein, human
  • Receptors, Somatomedin
  • beta Catenin
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1