The heparin-binding domains of IGFBP-2 mediate its inhibitory effect on preadipocyte differentiation and fat development in male mice

Endocrinology. 2013 Nov;154(11):4146-57. doi: 10.1210/en.2013-1236. Epub 2013 Aug 27.


IGF-binding protein (IGFBP)-2 overexpression confers resistance to high-fat feeding and inhibits the differentiation of preadipocytes in vitro. However, whether administration of IGFBP-2 can regulate adipogenesis in vivo and the domains that mediate this response have not been defined. IGFBP-2 contains 2 heparin-binding domains (HBD), which are localized in the linker region (HBD1) and C-terminal region (HBD2) of IGFBP-2. To determine the relative importance of these domains, we used synthetic peptides as well as mutagenesis. Both HBD1 and HBD2 peptides inhibited preadipocyte differentiation, but the HBD2 peptide was more effective. Selective substitution of charged residues in the HBD1 or HBD2 regions attenuated the ability of the full-length protein to inhibit cell differentiation, but the HBD2 mutant had the greatest reduction. To determine their activities in vivo, pegylated forms of each peptide were administered to IGFBP-2(-/-) mice for 12 weeks. Magnetic resonance imaging scanning showed that only the HBD2 peptide significantly reduced (48 ± 9%, P < .05) gain in total fat mass. Both inguinal (32 ± 7%, P < .01) and visceral fat (44 ± 7%, P < .01) were significantly decreased by HBD2 whereas HBD1 reduced only visceral fat accumulation (24 ± 5%, P < .05). The HBD2 peptide was more effective peptide in reducing triglyceride content and serum adiponectin, but only the HBD2 peptide increased serum leptin. These findings demonstrate that the HBD2 domain of IGFBP-2 is the primary region that accounts for its ability to inhibit adipogenesis and that a peptide encompassing this region has activity that is comparable with native IGFBP-2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / cytology*
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epididymis / cytology
  • Heparin / metabolism*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2 / genetics
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2 / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Mutation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2
  • Heparin