IGF Binding Proteins (IGFBPs)

The superfamily of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) binding proteins include the six high-affinity IGF binding proteins (IGFBP) and at least four additional low-affinity binding proteins referred to as IGFBP related proteins (IGFBP-rP). All IGFBP superfamily members are cysteine-rich proteins with conserved cysteine residues, which are clustered in the amino- and carboxy-terminal thirds of the molecule. IGFBPs modulate the biological activities of IGF proteins. Some IGFBPs may also have intrinsic bioactivity that is independent of their ability to bind IGF proteins. Post-translational modifications of IGFBP, including glycosylation, phosphorylation and proteolysis, have been shown to modify the affinities of the binding proteins to IGF. ALS (Acid Labile Subunit) is a liver-derived protein that exists in a ternary complex with Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF)-binding Protein-3 (IGFBP-3) or IGFBP-5, and either IGF-I or IGF-II. ALS increases the half-life of IGF/IGFBP complexes in circulation.