Original Article

Establishment of platform for screening insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor inhibitors and evaluation of novel inhibitors

Authors: Lin-jiang Tong, Hua Xie, Ting Peng, Xiao-feng Liu, Xian-liang Xin, Xun Huang, Si-meng Chen, Hong-yan Liu, Hong-lin Li, Mei-yu Geng, Ming Yin, Jian Ding
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2011.23


Aim: The insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF1R) is over-expressed in a wide variety of tumors and contributes to tumor cell proliferation, metastasis and drug resistance. The aim of this study was to establish a sensitive screening platform to identify novel IGF1R inhibitors.
Methods: The catalytic domain of IGF1R was expressed using the Bac-to-Bac baculovirus expression system. The screening platform for IGF1R inhibitors was established based on ELISA. The binding profile of IGF1R with the inhibitors was predicted with molecular docking and then subjected to the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) approach. The growth inhibition of cancer cells by the inhibitors was assessed with MTT assay. Apoptosis was analyzed using flow cytometry and Western blotting.
Results: A naturally occurring small molecule compound hematoxylin was identified as the most potent inhibitor (IC50 value=1.8±0.1 μmol/L) within a library of more than 200 compounds tested. Molecular simulation predicted the possible binding mode of hematoxylin with IGF1R. An SPR assay further confirmed that hematoxylin bound directly to IGF1R with high binding affinity (Kd=4.2×10-6 mol/L). In HL-60 cancer cells, hematoxylin inactivated the phosphorylation of IGF1R and downstream signaling and therefore suppressed cell proliferation. Mechanistic studies revealed that hematoxylin induced apoptosis in HL-60 cells via both extrinsic and intrinsic pathways.
Conclusion: A simple, sensitive ELISA-based screening platform for identifying IGF1R inhibitors was established. Hematoxylin was identified as a promising IGF1R inhibitor with effective antitumor activity that deserves further investigation.

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