Insulin‐like growth factor‐I: Specific binding to high and low affinity sites and mitogenic action throughout the life span of WI‐38 cells

Paul D. Phillips, Robert Pignolo, Vincent J. Cristofalo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Insulin‐like growth factor‐I (IGF‐I) (13 nM) can replace insulin (0.8 μM) in a serum‐free medium containing epidermal growth factor (EGF) (16 nM) and dexamethasone (DEX) (140 nM) and stimulate DNA synthesis in young cultures of WI‐38 cells, similar to the stimulation of serum‐supplemented medium. By contrast, senescent cells become unresponsive to all of these hormones. The effect of IGF‐I, EGF, and DEX is synergistic in stimulating multiple rounds of low density cell division. Total specific binding of [125]IGF‐I per cell in monolayer culture does not change with age, which indicates, in light of increased cell size with age, an actual decrease in specific binding per μM2 of cell surface area. Binding can be traced to two separate cell proteins. Binding to the α subunit of the IGF‐I transmembrane receptor may increase slightly with age while the 50% displacement remains unchanged. The remainder of the IGF‐I specific binding (five‐ to thirty‐fold more) is to a low molecular weight, cell‐associated binding protein whose 50% displacement is 10 times higher, but also remains unchanged with age. Specific binding to the lower affinity sites decreases slightly with age at equal cell densities. IGF‐I binding to the α subunit of the transmembrane receptor is independent of cell density, while binding to the low molecular weight binding protein is inversely proportional to cell density and may vary by as much as tenfold.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-143
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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