Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver malignancy and is a major cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Previously, we demonstrated that glypican-3 (GPC3) is highly expressed in HCC, and that GPC3 induces oncogenicity and promotes the growth of cancer cells through IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R). In the present study, we investigated the mechanisms of GPC3-mediated enhancement of IGF-1R signaling. We demonstrated that GPC3 decreased IGF-1-induced IGF-1R ubiquitination and degradation and increased c-Myc protein levels. GPC3 bound to Grb10, a mediator of ligand-induced receptor ubiquitination, and the overexpression of Grb10 blocked GPC3-enhanced IGF-1-induced ERK phosphorylation. GPC3 promoted the growth of NIH3T3 and PLC-PRF-5 cells in serum-free medium but did not promote the growth of IGF-1R negative R- cells. Grb10 overexpression decreased GPC3-promoted cell growth. Therefore, the present study elucidates the mechanisms of GPC3-induced oncogenicity, which may highlight new strategies for the treatment of HCC.
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