Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Picropodophyllin inhibits tumor growth of human nasopharyngeal carcinoma in a mouse model.

PMID 23973483


Insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) is a cell membrane receptor with tyrosine kinase activity and plays important roles in cell transformation, tumor growth, tumor invasion, and metastasis. Picropodophyllin (PPP) is a selective IGF-1R inhibitor and shows promising antitumor effects for several human cancers. However, its antitumor effects in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) remain unclear. The purpose of this study is to investigate the antitumor activity of PPP in NPC using in vitro cell culture and in vivo animal model. We found that PPP dose-dependently decreased the IGF-induced phosphorylation and activity of IGF-1R and consequently reduced the phosphorylation of Akt, one downstream target of IGF-1R. In addition, PPP inhibited NPC cell proliferation in vitro. The half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of PPP for NPC cell line CNE-2 was ≤1 μM at 24h after treatment and ≤0.5 μM at 48 h after treatment, respectively. Moreover, administration of PPP by intraperitoneal injection significantly suppressed the tumor growth of xenografted NPC in nude mice. Taken together, these results suggest targeting IGF-1R by PPP may represent a new strategy for treatment of NPCs with positive IGF-1R expression.