Role of IGF Binding Proteins in Regulating Metabolism

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Jun;27(6):375-391. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2016.03.019. Epub 2016 Apr 23.


Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) circulate in extracellular fluids bound to a family of binding proteins. Although they function in a classical manner to limit the access of the IGFs to their receptors they also have a multiplicity of actions that are independent of this property; they bind to their own receptors or are transported to intracellular and intranuclear sites to influence cellular functions that may directly or indirectly modify IGF actions. The availability of genetically modified animals has helped to determine their functions in a physiological context. These results show that many of their actions are cell type- and context-specific, and have led to a broader understanding of how these proteins function coordinately with IGF-I and -II to regulate growth and metabolism.

Keywords: atherosclerosis; bone metabolism.; insulin resistance; insulin-like growth factors; obesity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / genetics
  • Atherosclerosis / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / genetics
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Somatomedins / genetics
  • Somatomedins / metabolism*


  • Somatomedins