Purification and Characterization of the Insulin-Like Growth Factor-Binding Protein-1 Phosphoform Found in Normal Plasma

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    Our previous work has shown that, in the normal circulation, insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) is present as a single highly phosphorylated species. In this study, we have purified this previously uncharacterized isoform of IGFBP-1 to determine its ligand-binding affinity and the potential significance of highly phosphorylated IGFBP-I. Immunoaffinity chromatography was used to isolate IGFBP-1 from normal human plasma and from human hepatoma (Hep G2) cell medium as an alternative source of the IGFBP-1 phosphoform in the circulation. The affinity of this highly phosphorylated IGFBP-1 was compared with that of nonphosphorylated IGFBP-1 and recombinant human (rh) IGFBP-3 by equilibrium binding to IGF-II and IGF-II. Anion exchange (IEX) HPLC, nondenaturing electrophoresis, alkaline phosphatase treatment, and ligand-binding studies indicated that the highly phosphorylated IGFBP-1 from HepG2 cells was comparable with IGFBP-1 from plasma. In binding to IGF-I, the plasma phosphoform of IGFBP-1 was found to have a higher affinity (2.3 +/- 1.1 x 10(10) M-1) than nonphosphorylated IGFBP-1 (2.5 +/- 1.7 x 10(9) M-1, P <0.002). However, when binding to IGF-II, phosphorylation had no affect on the affinity of IGFBP-1 (3.6 +/- 2 x 10(9) M-1 vs. 1.8 +/- 3 x 10(9) M-1, P not significant). Therefore, in the circulation, IGF-I has a considerably higher affinity than IGF-II for IGFBP-1 (P <0.02). The affinity of phosphorylated IGFBP-1 from plasma (2.3 +/- 1.1 x 10(10) M-1) also was significantly higher than the affinity of IGFBP-3 for IGF-I (5.6 +/- 4.2 x 10(9) M-1, P <0.005). These data suggest that the highly phosphorylated IGFBP-1 in the normal circulation will preferentially bind IGF-I rather than IGF-II, whereas in pregnancy, the affinity of IGFBP-1 for IGF-I will be reduced because of the appearance of non- and lesser-phosphorylated forms. This lends support to the theory that changes in IGFBP-1 phosphorylation may influence the modulatory effects of IGFBP-1 on IGF bioavailability.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1130-1136
    Number of pages6
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 1997


    • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
    • chemistry: Culture Media
    • Female
    • Humans
    • blood: Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 1
    • Isomerism
    • Ligands
    • Phosphorylation
    • Recombinant Proteins
    • Reference Values
    • metabolism: Tumor Cells, Cultured


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