Overexpression of an inhibitory insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP), IGFBP-4, delays onset of prostate tumor formation

Endocrinology. 1998 Aug;139(8):3456-64. doi: 10.1210/endo.139.8.6150.


Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) binding proteins (IGFBPs) have been shown to either inhibit or enhance the action of IGF, or act in an IGF-independent manner in the prostate. We have overexpressed the IGF-inhibitory IGFBP-4 in the malignant M12 prostate epithelial cell line to determine the effects on tumor formation and apoptosis. Overexpression was determined by Northern, Western immunoblot and Western radioligand blot analysis. IGF-induced proliferation was reduced in the IGFBP-4 transfected cells compared with control cells (P < or = 0.01). Colony formation in soft agar was significantly inhibited up to 14 days after plating in the IGFBP-4 transfected cells when compared with the M12 controls (P < or = 0.01): however, in the presence of des(1-3)IGF-I, there was no significant difference between the control and IGFBP-4 transfectants in colony formation in soft agar. Apoptosis in an IGFBP-4 transfected cell line was significantly increased in response to induction by 6-hydroxyurea compared with the control line. When injected s.c. into male athymic/nude mice, a marked delay was noted in tumor formation in animals receiving IGFBP-4 transfected cells (P < or = 0.01). Interestingly, IGFBP-2 protein levels were reduced in the conditioned media of all IGFBP-4 transfected cell cultures. These data indicate that an inhibitory IGFBP may significantly delay the growth of malignant prostate epithelial cells and enhance the sensitivity of these cells to apoptosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 4 / genetics
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 4 / metabolism
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 4 / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Transfection


  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 4