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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Physical Activity for Health Group based within the School of Psychological Sciences & Health. Research here seeks to better understand how and why physical activity improves health, gain a better understanding of the amount, intensity, and type of physical activity needed for health benefits, and evaluate the effect of interventions to promote physical activity.

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Role of insulin-like growth factor binding proteins in mammary gland development

Flint, D.J. and Tonner, E. and Beattie, J. and Allan, G.J. (2008) Role of insulin-like growth factor binding proteins in mammary gland development. Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia, 13 (4). pp. 443-453. ISSN 1083-3021

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Abstract

Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) play an important role in mammary gland development and their effects are, in turn, influenced by a family of 6 IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs). The IGFBPs are expressed in time- and tissue-specific fashion during the periods of rapid growth and involution of the mammary gland. The precise roles of these proteins in vivo have, however, been difficult to determine. This review examines the indirect evidence (evolution, chromosomal location and roles in lower life-forms) the evidence from in vitro studies and the attempts to examine their roles in vivo, using IGFBP-deficient and over-expression models. Evidence exists for a role of the IGFBPs in inhibition of the survival effects of IGFs as well as in IGF-enhancing effects from in vitro studies. The location of the IGFBPs, often associated with the extracellular matrix, suggests roles as a reservoir of IGFs or as a potential barrier, restricting access of IGFs to distinct cellular compartments. We also discuss the relative importance of IGF-dependent versus IGF-independent effects. IGF-independent effects include nuclear localization, activation of proteases and interaction with a variety of extracellular matrix and cell surface proteins. Finally, we examine the increasing evidence for the IGFBPs to be considered as part of a larger family of extracellular matrix proteins involved in morphogenesis and tissue re-modeling.