Insulin-like growth factors.



The insulin-like growth factors I and II are single chain polypeptides homologous to proinsulin. IGF I and IGF II contribute to cell regulation and stimulate protein synthesis via signaling through type I receptors which are homologous to insulin receptors and activate phosphorylation cascades. IGFs enhance the proliferation of chondocytes and the proliferation of their collagen and proteoglycan matrix; IGFs stimulate longitudinal (endochondral) bone growth. Throughout life, IGFs are constitutvely expressed ubiquitous factors which help to maintain the survival of differentiated cells, Increased expression is found during growth and tissue repair, Six specific binding proteins, IGFBP 1-6, allow additional tissue compartment specific control of IGF activity; IGFBP production favours storage and IGFBP cleavage leads to activation.