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J Biol Chem. 1990 Sep 5;265(25):14892-8.

Isolation from adult human serum of four insulin-like growth factor (IGF) binding proteins and molecular cloning of one of them that is increased by IGF I administration and in extrapancreatic tumor hypoglycemia.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University Hospital, Zurich CH-8091, Switzerland.


We have isolated four insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs) from adult human serum by insulin-like growth factor (IGF) I affinity chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography. A 36-kDa binding protein (BP), not digestible with N-glycanase, is increased in patients with extrapancreatic tumor hypoglycemia and during IGF I administration in healthy adults. Its 38 NH2-terminal amino acids are identical to those of an IGFBP sequence derived from a human cDNA that cross-hybridizes with the rat IGFBP-2 cDNA. With probes encoding a NH2-terminal, COOH-terminal, and a middle region of this protein we have obtained three cDNA clones from a Hep G2 cDNA library; one encodes human IGFBP-2, and the other two presumably represent unspliced heteronuclear and alternatively spliced mRNA, respectively. A 28-30-kDa IGFBP represents a novel BP species in human serum. Its 30 NH2-terminal amino acids are not homologous to IGFBP-1, -2, or -3. It is not digestible with N-glycanase and does not bind 125I-IGF I. The NH2-terminal sequences of a 42/45- and a 31-kDa IGFBP are identical to that of human IGFBP-3. The 42/45-kDa proteins are two glycosylation variants of BP-3. The 31-kDa protein presumably is a degradation product of BP-3 that lacks the COOH terminus. It is likely that the different IGFBPs modulate auto-/paracrine and endocrine effects of IGFs on growth and metabolism in a different and specific manner.

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