Crosstalk between insulin-like growth factor (IGF) receptor and integrins through direct integrin binding to IGF1

Yoshikazu Takada, Yoko K. Takada, Masaaki Fujita

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


It has been generally accepted that integrin cell adhesion receptors are involved in growth factor signaling (integrin-growth factor crosstalk), since antagonists to integrins often suppress growth factor signaling. Partly because integrins have been originally identified as cell adhesion receptors to extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, current models of the crosstalk between IGF1 and integrins propose that ECM ligands (e.g., vitronectin) bind to integrins and IGF1 binds to IGF receptor type 1 (IGF1R), and two separate signals merge inside the cells. Our research proves otherwise. We discovered that IGF1 interacts directly with integrins, and induces integrin-IGF-IGF1R complex formation on the cell surface. IGF1 signaling can be detected in the absence of ECM (anchorage-independent conditions). Integrin antagonists block both ECM-integrin interaction and IGF-integrin interaction, and do not distinguish the two. This is one possible reason why integrin-IGF1 interaction has not been detected. With these new discoveries, we believe that the direct IGF-integrin interaction should be incorporated into models of IGF1 signaling. The integrin-binding defective mutant of IGF1 is defective in inducing IGF signaling, although the mutant still binds to IGF1R. Notably, the IGF1 mutant is dominant-negative and suppresses cell proliferation induced by wt IGF1, and suppresses tumorigenesis in vivo, and thus the IGF1 mutant has potential as a therapeutic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalCytokine and Growth Factor Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • Crosstalk
  • Dominant-negative antagonist
  • IGF1
  • Integrin
  • Signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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