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Comp Biochem Physiol B. 1988;91(2):229-35.

The insulin-like growth factors and their binding proteins.

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Department of Endocrinology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, NSW, Australia.


1. This review provides a brief overview of the structure of the insulin-like growth factors (IGFs or somatomedins), their mRNA and genes; the regulation and sites of production of these peptides; their binding and actions in target tissues; and the structure and biological role of their binding proteins. 2. Molecular cloning techniques have allowed the prediction of precursor forms of IGF-I and IGF-II, have provided tools to study the regulation of the synthesis and translation of IGF mRNAs, and have recently yielded the primary sequence of the IGF-I receptor, supplementing other rapidly-accumulating structural data. 3. Several of the IGF binding proteins have also been purified, and initial structural studies performed. 4. The increased knowledge of the structures of the IGFs, their receptors and binding proteins should now permit rapid progress in understanding the physiology and functions of these proteins.

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