IGF (Insulin Growth Factor)

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IGF (Insulin Growth Factor) is a polypeptide made up of 139 amino acids with a molecular weight of 7649 [1].

It is made up of three ligands - Insulin, IGF-1 and IGF-11 whose function is mediated by a group of transmembrane receptors [2].

This protein plays an important role in the physiological function of cells including cell growth and development (especially early development). This theory has been supported by numerous gene knockout studies that have been carried out on mice, proving that IGF is essential for maximal growth to be acheived [3].

IGF is secreted by the liver in responce to Human Growth Hormone (GH). They bind to three cell surface receptors IGF1 receptor, IGF2 receptor and the Insulin receptor and are regulated by IGF binding proteins which cause either activation or inhibition of the hormone or prevention of receptor binding [4].


  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/protein/P22618.1#comment_124266
  2. http://edrv.endojournals.org/content/16/2/143.short
  3. Gunnell, David; Miller, LL; Rogers, I; Holly, JM; Alspac Study, Team (11/01/2005) - http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/116/5/e681.full.pdf+html
  4. http://www.jbc.org/content/253/8/2769.short
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