The era of personalized medicine for cancer treatment has just begun opening up
novel molecular targets improving cancer therapy. Members of the insulin-like growth factor
2 (IGF2) axis have been described to be altered and to have prognostic relevance in
several different tumor identities.
IGF2 belongs to the most complexly regulated growth factors known. As an imprinted gene
it is controlled by epigenetic alterations. IGF2 mRNA binding proteins (IMPs/IGF2BPs)
further regulate its translation. IGF2 activity is contained through IGF binding proteins
(IGFBPs) and differential expression of the target receptors. The necessity of such a complex
regulation implies pathophysiological effects of a deregulated expression of IGF2. This
review attempts to summarize the different levels of IGF2 regulation, especially in the context
of cancer. Members of the IGF2 axis are enlightened from the perspective of novel
molecular targets for cancer therapy. Preclinical as well as experimental therapeutic interventions
targeting IGF2 in cancer will be surveyed.
Keywords: IGF, IMP, IGF2BP, IGFBP, miR-483, cancer, IGF1R, apoptosis.
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