• IGFBP-2 suppression;
  • growth inhibition;
  • prostate cancer.


Background:  Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2) is expressed by all human prostate cancer cell lines and dramatically increases in the serum of prostate cancer patients. However, the role of IGFBP-2 in prostatic tumorigenesis is not known. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of IGFBP-2 on the proliferation of DU145 human prostate cancer cells in culture.

Methods:  Using cell proliferation assays, we examined the effects of exogenously administered and endogenously modulated levels of IGFBP-2 on the proliferation of DU145 cells.

Result:  Cell growth was stimulated by exogenously administered IGFBP-2, but significantly retarded (P < 0.05) by its neutralizing antibody. Overexpression of IGFBP-2 by transfection also stimulated cell growth, which was significantly (P < 0.05) inhibited in transfectants expressing antisense mRNA to IGFBP-2. Furthermore, the proliferation of IGFBP-2 overexpressing cells was significantly dampened by exogenously administered IGFBP-2 antibody.

Conclusions:  IGFBP-2 is an autocrine growth factor for DU145 human prostate cancer cells and cell proliferation can be significantly retarded by neutralizing or inhibiting its synthesis. These findings provide a strong rationale for targeting IGFBP-2 in the testing of novel strategies to treat prostate cancer.