Regulation of breast cancer cell motility by insulin receptor substrate-2 (IRS-2) in metastatic variants of human breast cancer cell lines

James G. Jackson, Xihong Zhang, Toshiyuki Yoneda, Douglas Yee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) regulate breast cancer cell proliferation, protect cells from apoptosis, and enhance metastasis. In this study, we examined the IGF signaling pathway in two breast cancer cell lines selected for metastatic behavior. LCC6 was selected for growth as an ascites tumor in athymic mice from parental MDA-MB-435 cells (435P). The MDA-231BO cell line was derived from osseous metastases that formed after intracardiac injection of the MDA-MB-231 cell line in athymic mice. Compared to the parental cell lines, IGF-I treatment enhanced IRS-2 phosphorylation over IRS-1 in the metastatic variants. IGF-I stimulated cell migration in the variant cells, but not in the parental cells. To determine the role for IRS-2 in IGF-mediated motility, we transfected MDA-231BO cells with an anti-sense IRS-2 construct. Transfected cells had decreased levels of IRS-2 with diminished IGF-mediated motility and anchorage independent growth when compared to control cells. However, adherence to fibronectin was enhanced in the transfected cells compared to MDA-231BO cells. Our data show that breast cancer cells selected for metastatic behavior in vivo have increased IRS-2 activation and signaling. In these cells, IGF-I enhances cell adhesion and motility suggesting that IRS-2 may mediate these aspects of the malignant phenotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7318-7325
Number of pages8
Issue number50
StatePublished - Nov 1 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This was supported by Public Health Service (PHS) grant R01CA74285, and PHS Cancer Center Support grant P30CA54174. Drs Robert Clark and Nils Brünner kindly provided the MDA-MB-435 parental and LCC6 variant cells. The authors wish to thank Adrian V Lee and Carol Lange for critical reading of the manuscript.


  • Adhesion
  • Breast neoplasms
  • Cell migration
  • Insulin receptor substrate
  • Insulin-like growth factors

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