Synergy between PI3K/Akt and Raf/MEK/ERK pathways in IGF-1R mediated cell cycle progression and prevention of apoptosis in hematopoietic cells

John G Shelton, Linda S Steelman, Edmond R White, James A McCubrey
Cell Cycle 2004, 3 (3): 372-9
The insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) receptor (R) induced PI3K/Akt signal transduction cascade has critical roles in prevention of apoptosis and regulation of cell cycle progression. Here, we discuss the effects of IGF-1R-mediated signal transduction on hematopoietic cells which normally require interleukin-3 (IL-3) for growth and prevention of apoptosis. Cytokine-dependent FDC-P1 hematopoietic cells were conditionally transformed to grow in response to overexpression of IGF-1R in the presence of IGF-1. When these cells were deprived of IL-3 or IGF-1 for 24 hrs, they exited the cell cycle, activated caspase 3 and underwent apoptosis. The effects of inhibitors which targeted the PI3K/Akt and Raf/MEK/ERK pathways were determined. When the cells were cultured with IGF-1 and either PI3K or MEK inhibitors, cell cycle progression and DNA synthesis were inhibited and caspase 3 activity and apoptosis were induced. Coinhibition of both pathways synergized to prevent cell cycle progression, inhibit DNA synthesis and induce apoptosis. These inhibitors had more apoptotic inducing effects when the cells were grown in response to IGF-1 than IL-3, indicating that IL-3 can induce additional anti-apoptotic pathways. These results demonstrate that the PI3K/Akt and Raf/MEK/ERK pathways are intimately involved in IGF-1R-mediated cell cycle progression and prevention of apoptosis in hematopoietic cells.

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