PloS one

The Activation of ERK1/2 and JNK MAPK Signaling by Insulin/IGF-1 Is Responsible for the Development of Colon Cancer with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

PMID 26901856


Previous studies showed that type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is linked to increased risk of developing colon cancer. Insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) are increased in patients with T2DM. The increased insulin and IGF-1 may be responsible for the developing of colon cancer. In this study, we investigated the effects and mechanisms of insulin and IGF-1 in colon cancer development in vitro and in vivo. Insulin and IGF-1 alone or together elevated proliferation and reduced apoptosis in colon cancer MC38 cells. Meanwhile, insulin and IGF-1 promoted the phosphorylation of extracellular-signal regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Treatment with ERK1/2 or JNK inhibitor in the presence of insulin and IGF-1 significantly decreased B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) and increased Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax) expression and finally increased apoptosis and inhibited the proliferation. Accelerative colon tumor growth was found in a mouse model of T2DM with db/db mice which got high level of endogenous insulin and IGF-1. Furthermore, the inhibition of ERK1/2 or JNK suppressed the development of colon tumor in vivo. These results suggest that the activation of ERK1/2 and JNK signaling by insulin and IGF-1, at least in part, is responsible for the development of colon cancer with T2DM.