The growth of human melanoma cells FO-1 in nude mice is strongly inhibited or even abrogated when the cells are stably transfected with a plasmid expressing an antisense RNA to the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) RNA, which causes a marked reduction in the number of IGF-1 receptors. When a tumor arises after a long delay in nude mice, it can be shown that the tumor cells have lost the expression plasmid and that the number of IGF-1 receptors has returned to wild-type levels. The antisense effect is even more remarkable, since the growth of FO-1 melanoma cells in monolayers is not affected by the expression of the antisense RNA. Inhibition of tumorigenesis was also evident when FO-1 melanoma cells were treated with antisense oligodeoxynucleotides to the IGF-1R RNA prior to injection into nude mice. These results confirm in human cells that the IGF-1R plays a dominant role in transformation and tumorigenesis and that its effect on tumorigenesis is more profound than its effect on mitogenesis.


This work was supported by NIH Grants CA 53484 (R. B.), CA 56309 (R. B.), CA 37959 (S. F.), and CA 51814 (S. F.).

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