Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) and Its Monitoring in Medical Diagnostic and in Sports

Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) and Its Monitoring in Medical Diagnostic and in Sports / Julian Bailes, Mikhail Soloviev. - (Biomolecules 11 (2021) 2 (4 February); p. 1-15)

  • PMID: 33557137
  • PMCID: PMC7913862
  • DOI: 10.3390/biom11020217


Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is the principal mediator of growth hormone (GH), plays a crucial role in promoting cell growth and differentiation in childhood and continues to have an anabolic effect in adults. IGF-1 is part of a wide network of growth factors, receptors and binding proteins involved in mediating cellular proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. Bioavailability of IGF-1 is affected by insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs) which bind IGF-1 in circulation with an affinity equal to or greater than that of the IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R). The six IGFBPs serve as carrier proteins and bind approximately 98% of all circulating IGF-1. Other proteins known to bind IGF-1 include ten IGFBP-related proteins (IGFBP-rPs), albeit with lower affinities than the IGFBPs. IGF-1 expression levels vary in a number of clinical conditions suggesting it has the potential to provide crucial information as to the state of an individual's health. IGF-1 is also a popular doping agent in sport and has featured in many high-profile doping cases in recent years. However, the existence of IGFBPs significantly reduces the levels of immunoreactive IGF-1 in samples, requiring multiple pre-treatment steps that reduce reproducibility and complicates interpretation of IGF-1 assay results. Here we provide an overview of the IGF network of growth factors, their receptors and the entirety of the extended family of IGFBPs, IGFBP-rPs, E peptides as well as recombinant IGF-1 and their derivatives. We also discuss issues related to the detection and quantification of bioavailable IGF-1.

Original document


4 February 2021
Bailes, Julian
Soloviev, Mikhail
United Kingdom
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Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL)
Analytical aspects
Testing method development
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S2. Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors
Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1)
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Scientific article
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Pdf file
Date generated
18 March 2021
Date of last modification
20 March 2021
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