Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein-3 Binds to Histone 3

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jan 2;22(1):407. doi: 10.3390/ijms22010407.


Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) is an essential protein that regulates cellular processes such as cell proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation. It is known to bind with several proteins to carry out various cellular functions. In this study, we report for the first time that IGFBP-3 is a histone 3 (H3) binding protein. Sub-cellular fractionation was performed to separate into cytosolic fraction, nucleic acid binding protein fraction and insoluble nuclear fraction. Using ligand blot analysis, we identified a ~15 kDa protein that can interact with IGFBP-3 in the insoluble nuclear fraction. The 15 kDa protein was confirmed as histone 3 by far-Western blot analysis and co-immunoprecipitation experiments. A dot-blot experiment further validated the binding of IGFBP-3 with H3. The intensity of IGFBP-3 on dot-blot showed a proportional increase with H3 concentrations between 2.33 pmol-37.42 pmol. Our results support the presence of protein-protein interaction between IGFBP-3 and H3. The physical binding between IGFBP-3 and H3 could indicate its yet another cellular role in regulating the chromatin remodeling for gene transcription.

Keywords: IGFBP-3; histone 3; protein-protein interaction.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3 / genetics
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3 / metabolism*
  • Ligands
  • Mice
  • Protein Binding


  • Histones
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3
  • Ligands