Co-Targeting IGF-1R and Autophagy Enhances the Effects of Cell Growth Suppression and Apoptosis Induced by the IGF-1R Inhibitor NVP-AEW541 in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells


Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most intractable type of breast cancer, and there is a lack of effective targeted therapy. Insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) is reportedly a potential target for TNBC treatment. However, satisfying treatment outcomes in breast cancer patients have yet to be achieved with IGF-1R-targeted agents.


To confirm whether inhibiting IGF-1R could induce autophagy, we detected autophagy-related proteins by western blotting and immunofluorescence staining of LC3-II. The IGF-1R inhibitor NVP-AEW541, autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA) and Atg7 small interfering RNA (siRNA) were used to further investigate the effects of autophagy induced by IGF-1R inhibition in TNBC cells. The CCK8 assay, EdU assay, apoptosis and cell cycle analyses were applied to test cell function after treatment.


NVP-AEW541 markedly induced autophagy in TNBC cells by increasing the levels of the autophagy-related protein Beclin-1 and the LC3-II/LC-I ratio and reducing the selective autophagy substrate p62. Joint application of 3-MA or Atg7 siRNA enhanced the cell growth inhibition and apoptosis effects of NVP-AEW541 by arresting cells at G1/G0 phase and increasing Bax expression and decreasing that of Bcl-2.


Targeting IGF-1R in TNBC induces cell-protective autophagy, thereby weakening the therapeutic effect of agents directed toward IGF-1R. Our findings reveal that combined use autophagy-disrupting agents can enhance the therapeutic efficacy of IGF-1R inhibitors in TNBC cells and may provide a valuable treatment strategy for IGF-1R inhibitor-based therapies for TNBC and other IGF-1 signaling-associated tumors.

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Cat.No. Product Name Information Publications Customer Product Validation
S1034 NVP-AEW541 NVP-AEW541 is a potent inhibitor of IGF-1R/InsR with IC50 of 150 nM/140 nM in cell-free assays, greater potency and selectivity for IGF-1R in a cell-based assay. (38) (7)

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