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Bonekey Rep. 2013 Oct 2;2:437. doi: 10.1038/bonekey.2013.171.

IGF-1 regulation of key signaling pathways in bone.

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Center for Clinical and Translational Research, Maine Medical Center Research Institute , Scarborough, ME, USA.


Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is an unique peptide that functions in an endocrine/paracrine and autocrine manner in most tissues. Although it was postulated initially that liver-derived IGF-1 was the major source of IGF-1 (that is, the somatomedin hypothesis), it is also produced in a wide variety of tissues and can function in numerous ways as both a proliferative and differentiative factor. One such tissue is bone and all cell lineages in the skeleton have been shown to not only require IGF-1 for normal development and function but also to respond to IGF-1 via the IGF-1 receptor. Ligand-receptor activation leads to several distinct downstream signaling cascades, which have significant implications for cell survival, protein synthesis and energy utilization. The novel role of IGF-1 in regulating metabolic demands of the bone remodeling unit is currently under investigation. More studies are likely to shed new light on various aspects of skeletal physiology and potentially may lead to new therapeutics.

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