Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 1 Could Improve Glucose Regulation and Insulin Sensitivity Through Its RGD Domain

Low circulating levels of insulin-like growth factor binding protein 1 (IGFBP-1) are associated with insulin resistance and predict the development of type 2 diabetes. IGFBP-1 can affect cellular functions independently of IGF binding through an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) integrin-binding motif. Whether causal mechanisms underlie the favorable association of high IGFBP-1 levels with insulin sensitivity and whether these could be exploited therapeutically remain unexplored. We used recombinant IGFBP-1 and a synthetic RGD-containing hexapeptide in complementary in vitro signaling assays and in vivo metabolic profiling in obese mice to investigate the effects of IGFBP-1 and its RGD domain on insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion, and whole-body glucose regulation. The RGD integrin-binding domain of IGFBP-1, through integrin engagement, focal adhesion kinase, and integrin-linked kinase, enhanced insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion in C2C12 myotubes and INS-1 832/13 pancreatic β-cells. Both acute administration and chronic infusion of an RGD synthetic peptide to obese C57BL/6 mice improved glucose clearance and insulin sensitivity. These favorable effects on metabolic homeostasis suggest that the RGD integrin-binding domain of IGFBP-1 may be a promising candidate for therapeutic development in the field of insulin resistance.

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