Insulin-like growth factor-II bound to vitronectin enhances MCF-7 breast cancer cell migration.
We have previously reported that IGF-II binds the extracellular matrix protein vitronectin (VN) with an affinity similar to that for the type-1 IGF receptor (IGF-1R). In view of this finding, and given the cited role of VN in cell motility and adhesion, we aimed to elucidate the functional consequences of this interaction on cellular processes relevant to breast carcinoma. We demonstrate that this complex slightly inhibits cell attachment and has little effect on protein synthesis in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. However, prebinding IGF-II to immobilized VN was found to significantly enhance breast cancer cell migration through Transwells. Interestingly, IGF-II bound to VN, and not IGF-II in solution in the presence of VN, seems to be responsible for the effects on cell migration. Furthermore, studies using analogs of IGF-II with reduced affinity for the IGF-1R or IGF binding proteins indicate that this response involves the IGF-1R but is independent of IGF binding proteins. This is the first study demonstrating that IGF-II:VN complexes enhance migration of cells. This may prove to be especially relevant, given that overexpression of IGF-II and VN are features of many tumors.