IGF-1R inhibition sensitizes breast cancer cells to ATM-Related Kinase (ATR) inhibitor and cisplatin

Ciara H O'Flanagan, Sandra O'Shea, Amy Lyons, Fionola M Fogarty, Nuala McCabe, Richard D Kennedy, Rosemary O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
403 Downloads (Pure)


The complexity of the IGF-1 signalling axis is clearly a roadblock in targeting this receptor in cancer therapy. Here, we sought to identify mediators of resistance, and potential co-targets for IGF-1R inhibition. By using an siRNA functional screen with the IGF-1R tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) BMS-754807 in MCF-7 cells we identified several genes encoding components of the DNA damage response (DDR) pathways as mediators of resistance to IGF-1R kinase inhibition. These included ATM and Ataxia Telangiectasia and RAD3-related kinase (ATR). We also observed a clear induction of DDR in cells that were exposed to IGF-1R TKIs (BMS-754807 and OSI-906) as indicated by accumulation of γ-H2AX, and phosphorylated Chk1. Combination of the IGF-1R/IR TKIs with an ATR kinase inhibitor VE-821 resulted in additive to synergistic cytotoxicity compared to either drug alone. In MCF-7 cells with stably acquired resistance to the IGF-1R TKI (MCF-7-R), DNA damage was also observed, and again, dual inhibition of the ATR kinase and IGF-1R/IR kinase resulted in synergistic cytotoxicity. Interestingly, dual inhibition of ATR and IGF-1R was more effective in MCF-7-R cells than parental cells. IGF-1R TKIs also potentiated the effects of cisplatin in a panel of breast cancer cell lines. Overall, our findings identify induction of DDR by IGF-1R kinase inhibition as a rationale for co-targeting the IGF-1R with ATR kinase inhibitors or cisplatin, particularly in cells with acquired resistance to TKIs.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'IGF-1R inhibition sensitizes breast cancer cells to ATM-Related Kinase (ATR) inhibitor and cisplatin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this