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Lab Reports
June 2, 2015

Targeting Insulin Pathways to Treat Brain Tumors

JAMA. 2015;313(21):2114. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.5140

By using computer models and conducting experiments on 2 different glioblastoma cell types, investigators from Rice University, in Houston, have shown how insulin signaling activity relates to brain tumor growth (Lin KW et al. PLoS Comput Biol. 2015;11[4]:e1004169).

By testing contributions of different insulin signaling protein interactions, the team found that feedback from insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 (IGFB2) to a transcription factor known as hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) is integral to sustained growth of glioblastoma, whereas signaling from insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) to HIF-1α, which has been the target of many insulin signaling drugs in clinical trials, plays a less important role in tumor growth.