IGFBP7 induces apoptosis of acute myeloid leukemia cells and synergizes with chemotherapy in suppression of leukemia cell survival.


Despite high remission rates after chemotherapy, only 30-40% of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients survive 5 years after diagnosis. This extremely poor prognosis of AML is mainly caused by treatment failure due to chemotherapy resistance. Chemotherapy resistance can be caused by various features including activation of alternative signaling pathways, evasion of cell death or activation of receptor tyrosine kinases such as the insulin growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R). Here we have studied the role of the insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-7 (IGFBP7), a tumor suppressor and part of the IGF-1R axis, in AML. We report that IGFBP7 sensitizes AML cells to chemotherapy-induced cell death. Moreover, overexpression of IGFBP7 as well as addition of recombinant human IGFBP7 is able to reduce the survival of AML cells by the induction of a G2 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. This effect is mainly independent from IGF-1R activation, activated Akt and activated Erk. Importantly, AML patients with high IGFBP7 expression have a better outcome than patients with low IGFBP7 expression, indicating a positive role for IGFBP7 in treatment and outcome of AML. Together, this suggests that the combination of IGFBP7 and chemotherapy might potentially overcome conventional AML drug resistance and thus might improve AML patient survival.

More about this publication

Cell death & disease
  • Volume 5
  • Pages e1300
  • Publication date 26-06-2014

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