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Protein J. 2010 Oct;29(7):524-9. doi: 10.1007/s10930-010-9283-z.

The estimation of GC repeats in promoter P1 of IGF-1 gene and their influence on IGF-1 plasma levels in stable angina patients.

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Division of Cardiology-Intensive Therapy, Department of Internal Medicine, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, ul. Przybyszewskiego 49, 60-355, Poznan, Poland.


Increased plasma levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) are observed in advanced arteriosclerosis, but the reasons for these elevated levels remain unknown. One possibility to explain them is variation in the sequences that control IGF-1 gene expression. The goal of this study was to determine the effect of molecular variants of the IGF-1 P1 promoter on IGF-1 serum levels and to determine the impact of IGF-1 levels on the severity of coronary atherosclerosis.


Blood samples were collected from 101 consecutive patients undergoing routine angiography. Genomic DNA was isolated from the nucleated cells of the blood plasma as described (2). Based on the presence of conformational differences in the DNA strand and on the absence of single nucleotide polymorphisms, the DNA from 38 patients was further analyzed by the "allelic ladder" method to determine the number of repeated GC dinucleotides in the P1 promoter of the IGF-1 gene. In addition, we analyzed serum growth hormone levels in order to examine the effect on systemic IGF-1 synthesis.


Conformational differences in the P1 promoter of the IGF-1 gene were observed in 38 out of the 101 patients. Several genotypes, depending on the number of GC repeats, were observed (11/19,17/19,18/19,18/21,19/19,19/20,19/21). Interestingly, a family history of coronary artery disease was seen less often among individuals heterozygous for the GC repeats. A lower IGF-1 levels were seen in non-variant carriers (homozygous genotypes for 19 or 21 repeats of GC, or heterozygous genotype 19/21) when compared to the variant group (other heterozygous genotypes then 19/21) (181.6 ± 47.9 ng/mL vs. 227.7 ± 73.7, p = 0.026). A correlation between IGF-1, IGF-binding protein number 3, and growth hormone levels (p = ns) was not observed, and there were no significant differences in the growth hormone levels in the studied group of patients (p = ns).

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