Insulin-like growth factors (IGF) in muscle development. Expression of IGF-I, the IGF-I receptor, and an IGF binding protein during myoblast differentiation

S. E. Tollefsen, R. Lajara, R. H. McCusker, D. R. Clemmons, P. Rotwein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Scopus citations


The insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) I and II exert pleiotropic effects on diverse cell types through interaction with specific high affinity cell surface receptors and with locally produced binding proteins. In skeletal muscle and in myoblast cell lines, the functions of IGF-I and -II are complex. Both growth factors appear capable of stimulating cellular proliferation and differentiation, as well as exerting insulin-like effects on intermediary metabolism. We have demonstrated recently that the expression of IGF-II and its receptor is induced during the terminal differentiation of the myoblast cell line, C2, and have suggested that IGF-II may be an autocrine growth factor in these cells (Tollefsen, S.E., Sadow, J.L., and Rotwein, P. (1989) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 86, 1543-1547). We now have examined this cell line for expression of other components involved in IGF signaling. The synthesis of IGF-I is low during myoblast proliferation; IGF-I mRNA can be detected only through use of a sensitive solution hybridization assay. Typical IGF-I receptors can be measured in myoblasts, whereas IGF binding proteins cannot be detected in proliferating cells or in conditioned culture medium. During myogenic differentiation, IGF-I mRNA levels increase transiently by 6-10-fold within 48-72 h. The expression of IGF-I mRNA is accompanied by a 2.5-fold accumulation of IGF-I in the culture medium. IGF-I receptors also increase transiently, doubling by 48 h after the onset of differentiation. By contrast, secretion of a M(r) 29,000 IGF binding protein is induced 30-fold to 100 ng/ml within 16 h and continues to increase throughout differentiation. These studies demonstrate that several components critical to IGF action are produced in a fusing skeletal muscle cell line in a differentiation-dependent manner and suggest that both IGF-I and IGF-II may be autocrine factors for muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13810-13817
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Insulin-like growth factors (IGF) in muscle development. Expression of IGF-I, the IGF-I receptor, and an IGF binding protein during myoblast differentiation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this