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In Vivo. 2007 Jan-Feb;21(1):45-54.

The role of the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in skeletal muscle physiology.

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Department of Experimental Physiology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece.


The human insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) gene gives rise to multiple, heterogeneous mRNA transcripts through a combination of multiple transcription initiation sites, alternative splicing and different polyadenylation signals. These IGF-1 mRNA transcripts code different isoforms of the precursor peptide of IGF-1 (IGF-1Ea, IGF-1Eb and IGF-1Ec or MGF in human skeletal muscle), which also undergo post-translational modification. There is increasing interest in differential expression and implication of IGF-1 isoforms in the regulation of muscle fiber regeneration and hypertrophy following mechanical overloading and damage. The identification of a locally expressed, loading- or damage-sensitive IGF-1 isoform in skeletal muscle was one of the most attractive developments in the context of the autocrine/paracrine actions of IGF-1. The concept that the competing processes of cellular proliferation and differentiation and the increased protein synthesis required for muscle repair or hypertrophic adaptation are regulated by a differential expression and by distinct roles of IGF-1 isoforms is discussed in the present review.

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