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AbstractIGF receptor (IGF-1R) inhibition delays repair of radiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), prompting us to investigate whether IGF-1R influences endogenous DNA damage. We demonstrate that IGF-1R inhibition generates endogenous DNA lesions protected by 53BP1 bodies, indicating under-replicated DNA. We detect delayed replication fork progression in IGF-inhibited or IGF-1R depleted cancer cells, with activation of ATR-CHK1 signaling and the intra-S-phase checkpoint. This phenotype reflects unanticipated regulation of global replication by IGF-1, mediated via AKT, MEK/ERK and JUN to influence expression of ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) subunit RRM2. IGF-1R inhibition or depletion downregulate RRM2, compromising RNR function and dNTP supply. The resulting delay in fork progression and hallmarks of replication stress are rescued by RRM2 overexpression, confirming RRM2 as the critical factor through which IGF-1 regulates replication. Following targeted compound screens, we identify synergy between IGF inhibition and ATM loss, with evidence that IGF inhibition compromises growth of ATM null cells and xenografts. This synthetic lethal effect reflects conversion of single-stranded lesions in IGF-inhibited cells into toxic DSBs upon ATM inhibition. These data implicate IGF-1R in alleviating replication stress, and the identified reciprocal IGF:ATM co-dependence provides an approach to exploit this effect in ATM-deficient cancers.

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