Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1)-induced Twist Expression is Involved in the Anti-apoptotic Effects of the IGF-1 Receptor

Joëlle Dupont, Ana M. Fernandez, Charlotta A. Glackin, Lee Helman, Derek LeRoith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this study we investigated the molecular mechanisms whereby insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) induced Twist gene expression and the role of Twist in the anti-apoptotic actions of the IGF-1 receptor. In NIH-3T3 fibroblasts overexpressing the human IGF-1 receptor (NWTb3), treatment with IGF-1 (10-8 M) for 1 and 4 h increased the level of Twist mRNA as well as protein by 3-fold. In contrast, insulin at physiological concentrations did not stimulate Twist expression in NIH-3T3 fibroblasts overexpressing the human insulin receptor. The IGF-1 effect was specific for the IGF-1 receptor since, in cells overexpressing a dominant negative IGF-1 receptor, IGF-1 failed to increase Twist expression. Preincubation with the ERK1/2 inhibitor U0126 or expression of a dominant negative MEK-1 abolished the effect of IGF-1 on Twist mRNA expression in NWTb3 cells, suggesting that Twist induction by IGF-1 occurs via the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. In vivo, IGF-1 injection increased the mRNA level of Twist in mouse skeletal muscle, the major site of Twist expression. Finally, using an antisense strategy, we demonstrated that a reduction of 40% in Twist expression decreased significantly the ability of IGF-1 to rescue NWTb3 cells from etoposide-induced apoptosis. Taken together, these results define Twist as an important factor involved in the anti-apoptotic actions of the IGF-1 receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26699-26707
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number28
StatePublished - Jul 13 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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