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      IGF-Binding Proteins: Why Do They Exist and Why Are There So Many?

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          Abstract

          Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) are key growth-promoting peptides that act as both endocrine hormones and autocrine/paracrine growth factors. In the bloodstream and in local tissues, most IGF molecules are bound by one of the members of the IGF-binding protein (IGFBP) family, of which six distinct types exist. These proteins bind to IGF with an equal or greater affinity than the IGF1 receptor and are thus in a key position to regulate IGF signaling globally and locally. Binding to an IGFBP increases the half-life of IGF in the circulation and blocks its potential binding to the insulin receptor. In addition to these classical roles, IGFBPs have been shown to modulate IGF signaling locally under various conditions. Although members of the IGFBP family share significant sequence homology, they each have unique structural features and play distinct roles. These IGFBP genes also have different modes of regulation and distinct expression patterns. Some IGFBPs have been found to bind to their own receptors or to translocate into the interior compartments of cells where they may execute IGF-independent actions. In spite of this functional and regulatory diversity, it has been puzzling that loss-of-function studies have yielded relatively little information about the physiological functions of IGFBPs. In this review, we suggest that evolution has tended to retain an array of IGFBPs in order to facilitate fine-tuning of IGF signaling. We explore the emerging explanation that many IGFBP functions have evolved to allow the targeted adjustment of IGF signaling under stressful or irregular conditions, which would likely not be revealed in a standard laboratory setting.

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          Most cited references 98

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          Insulin-like growth factors and their binding proteins: biological actions.

           D Clemmons,  J Jones (1995)
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            Mice carrying null mutations of the genes encoding insulin-like growth factor I (Igf-1) and type 1 IGF receptor (Igf1r).

            Newborn mice homozygous for a targeted disruption of insulin-like growth factor gene (Igf-1) exhibit a growth deficiency similar in severity to that previously observed in viable Igf-2 null mutants (60% of normal birthweight). Depending on genetic background, some of the Igf-1(-/-) dwarfs die shortly after birth, while others survive and reach adulthood. In contrast, null mutants for the Igf1r gene die invariably at birth of respiratory failure and exhibit a more severe growth deficiency (45% normal size). In addition to generalized organ hypoplasia in Igf1r(-/-) embryos, including the muscles, and developmental delays in ossification, deviations from normalcy were observed in the central nervous system and epidermis. Igf-1(-/-)/Igf1r(-/-) double mutants did not differ in phenotype from Igf1r(-/-) single mutants, while in Igf-2(-)/Igf1r(-/-) and Igf-1(-/-)/Igf-2(-) double mutants, which are phenotypically identical, the dwarfism was further exacerbated (30% normal size). The roles of the IGFs in mouse embryonic development, as revealed from the phenotypic differences between these mutants, are discussed.
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              Genetic compensation: A phenomenon in search of mechanisms

              Several recent studies in a number of model systems including zebrafish, Arabidopsis, and mouse have revealed phenotypic differences between knockouts (i.e., mutants) and knockdowns (e.g., antisense-treated animals). These differences have been attributed to a number of reasons including off-target effects of the antisense reagents. An alternative explanation was recently proposed based on a zebrafish study reporting that genetic compensation was observed in egfl7 mutant but not knockdown animals. Dosage compensation was first reported in Drosophila in 1932, and genetic compensation in response to a gene knockout was first reported in yeast in 1969. Since then, genetic compensation has been documented many times in a number of model organisms; however, our understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms remains limited. In this review, we revisit studies reporting genetic compensation in higher eukaryotes and outline possible molecular mechanisms, which may include both transcriptional and posttranscriptional processes.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Endocrinol (Lausanne)
                Front Endocrinol (Lausanne)
                Front. Endocrinol.
                Frontiers in Endocrinology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1664-2392
                09 April 2018
                2018
                : 9
                Affiliations
                Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan , Ann Arbor, MI, United States
                Author notes

                Edited by: Andreas Hoeflich, Leibniz-Institut für Nutztierbiologie (FBN), Germany

                Reviewed by: Taisen Iguchi, National Institute for Basic Biology, Japan; Tom Ole Nilsen, University of Bergen, Norway; Isabel Navarro, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain

                *Correspondence: Cunming Duan, cduan@ 123456umich.edu

                Specialty section: This article was submitted to Experimental Endocrinology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology

                Article
                10.3389/fendo.2018.00117
                5900387
                Copyright © 2018 Allard and Duan.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 110, Pages: 12, Words: 9454
                Categories
                Endocrinology
                Review

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