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J Perinat Med. 2008;36(4):316-23. doi: 10.1515/JPM.2008.067.

Evidence supporting proteolytic cleavage of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) protein in amniotic fluid.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



The purpose of this study was to determine if: 1) insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) in amniotic fluid (AF) exhibited proteolytic cleavage in cases of intra-amniotic inflammation; and 2) if the matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-3, MMP-8, MMP-9) in AF are associated with the degradation of IGFBP-1 in AF.


AF samples (n=20) were obtained from preterm gestations with and without intra-amniotic inflammation. The form of IGFBP-1 in AF was assessed by Western blot analysis and AF MMP-8 concentration was measured by ELISA. Densitometric analysis of Western blot was performed and the fragmented/intact IGFBP-1 ratio was calculated. Proteolysis of AF IGFBP-1 by MMPs was evaluated by incubating AF with exogenous human MMP-3, MMP-8 or MMP-9, and by incubating recombinant human IGFBP-1 in AF with and without inflammation.


1) IGFBP-1 was present in AF without inflammation as an intact form; however, the fragmented form was dominant in AF with inflammation; 2) the ratio of fragmented/intact IGFBP-1 was significantly higher in AF with inflammation than in AF without inflammation; 3) a higher ratio of fragmented/intact IGFBP-1 was associated with a higher concentration of MMP-8; 4) in-vitro proteolysis experiments showed that AF IGFBP-1 was degraded by exogenous human MMP-3, MMP-8 and MMP-9; 5) recombinant human IGFBP-1 was fragmented in AF with inflammation, but not in AF without inflammation.


The fragmented form of AF IGFBP-1 was significantly increased in AF with intra-amniotic inflammation, and MMPs produced in AF with intra-amniotic inflammation were associated with the proteolytic change of AF IGFBP-1.

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