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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression of insulin-like growth factor-II and insulin-like growth factor binding proteins during Caco-2 cell proliferation and differentiation.

The components of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis and their roles in regulating proliferation and differentiation of the human colon adenocarcinoma cell line, Caco-2, have been investigated. Caco-2 cells proliferated in serum-free medium at 75% the rate observed in medium containing 10% fetal bovine serum. IGF-I (10 nM) increased Caco-2 cell growth in serum-free medium, but not to the rate seen with serum. Multiple IGF-II mRNA species were produced by Caco-2 cells, but IGF-I mRNA was undetectable. Secretion of radioimmunoassayable IGF-II corresponded with steady-state levels of IGF-II mRNA, neither of which was observed to change markedly over the course of 16 days of Caco-2 cell differentiation. Levels of sucrase-isomaltase mRNA, a marker for enterocytic differentiation, increased 12-fold between days 5 and 16 of culture. Northern blotting of total RNA and ligand blot and immunoblot analyses of serum-free conditioned medium revealed that Caco-2 cells produce several IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs), including IGFBP-2, -3, and -4, as well as a 31,000 M(r) species that was not identified. The pattern of IGFBP secretion changed dramatically during Caco-2 cell differentiation: IGFBP-3 and IGFBP-2 increased 8.5-fold and 5-fold, respectively, whereas IGFBP-4 and the 31,000 M(r) species decreased 43% and 90%. Caco-2 cell clones stably transfected with a human IGFBP-4 cDNA construct exhibited a 60% increase in steady-state level of IGFBP-4 mRNA, and secreted twice as much IGFBP-4 protein as controls. Moreover, IGFBP-4-overexpressing cells proliferated at only 25% the rate of control cells in serum-free medium, in conjunction with a 70% increase in expression of sucrase-isomaltase. In summary, these studies indicate that a complex IGF axis is involved in autocrine regulation of Caco-2 cell proliferation and differentiation.[1]


  1. Expression of insulin-like growth factor-II and insulin-like growth factor binding proteins during Caco-2 cell proliferation and differentiation. Park, J.H., Corkins, M.R., Vanderhoof, J.A., Caruso, N.M., Hrbek, M.J., Schaffer, B.S., Slentz, D.H., McCusker, R.H., MacDonald, R.G. J. Cell. Physiol. (1996) [Pubmed]
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