Human insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis affects the molecular pathogenesis of hepatocellular
carcinoma (HCC), especially in the abnormality of hepatic IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) or IGF-II
expression as a key molecule in hepatocarcinogenesis. However, the over-expression of hepatic IGFIR
is associated with HCC progression with largely unknown mechanisms. The IGF-IR as one key
molecule of the IGF signal pathway plays an important role in the hepatocyte malignant transformation.
Attaching importance to IGF-IR might improve the prognostic or the therapeutic technique of
HCC. This article reviews IGF-IR alteration during HCC development, and the effects of silencing
IGF-IR gene by specific short hairpin RNA on the inhibition of cell proliferation in vitro or HCC
xenograft growth in vivo to elucidate it as a novel molecular-targeted therapy for HCC.
Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma, insulin-like growth factor-I receptor, molecular targeted, gene therapy, gene amplification,
xenograft tumor, cell proliferation.
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