Biological roles of insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs)

Ho Seong Kim, Ron G. Rosenfeld, Youngman Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP) family is a critical component of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system which regulate the biological actions of the IGFs and may also be capable of IGF-independent actions. To date, seven distinct IGFBPs have been described. Among these IGFBPs, IGFBPs-1-6 bind IGFs with high affinity, while only IGFBP-7 binds with low affinity. Recently, we have demonstrated that connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) also binds IGFs with low affinity, suggesting that a family of low-affinity IGFBPs, distinct from the high-affinity members, may exist, and together these constitute an IGFBP superfamily. IGFBPs have various biological roles. IGFBPs act not only as a carrier proteins, but also as a modulators of IGF actions by involving in IGF ligand-receptor interactions through influences on both the bioavailability and distribution of IGFs in the extracellular environment. In addition, some IGFBPs (IGFBPs-1, -3, and -5) appears to have intrinsic activity independent of IGFs. This review will focus on recent studies on the biological roles of IGFBPs in IGF-dependent and IGF-independent modes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-96
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental and Molecular Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997


  • Connective tissue growth factor
  • Insulin-like growth factor binding proteins
  • Insulin-like growth factors
  • Review literature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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