Mitogenic effects of human recombinant insulin on B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells

E. K. Neely, R. G. Rosenfeld, A. Illescas, S. D. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Insulin and the insulin-like growth factors (IGF-I, IGF-II) constitute a family of peptides capable of stimulating diverse cellular responses, including cell proliferation. In order to determine the effects of these peptides on malignant cells, we analyzed the expression and function of insulin, IGF-I, and IGF-II receptors on B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP ALL) cell lines, utilizing competitive binding, affinity crosslinking, and cell proliferation assays. The BCP ALL cells bound to each peptide with mean specific binding for 125l-insulin, 125I-IGF-I, and 125I-IGF-II of 19.6%, 7.1%, and 4.3% of radioligand added, respectively. Competitive binding to intact cells demonstrated that 125I-IGF-I was displaced by IGF-I = IGF-II ≫ insulin, 125I-IGF-II was displaced by IGF-II ≫ insulin = IGF-I, and 125I-insulin was displaced by insulin ≫ IGF-II ≫ IGF-I. These data were remarkable for the potency of IGF-II displacement of 125I-IGF-I and 125I-insulin. Affinity crosslinking of radioligands to SUP-B2 cell membranes demonstrated the high affinity insulin and IGF-I (type 1 IGF) receptors. IGF binding proteins were also present in BCP ALL cell membrane preparations. In the cell proliferation studies, insulin stimulated a 50-130% increase in leukemic cell growth with a half-maximal concentration of 0.1-3.0ng/ml in three BCP ALL cell lines. The proliferative response to insulin was blocked by the addition of an insulin receptor antibody. However, no response was observed with IGF-I, and IGF-II was only weakly mitogenic with a proliferative response noted at 100 ng/ml. Thus, while BCP ALL cells possess receptors for insulin and IGF-I, only the insulin receptor mediated a proliferative response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1134-1142
Number of pages9
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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