Phylogeny of the insulin‐like growth factors (IGFS) and receptors: A molecular approach

Derek LeRoith, Vadim M. Kavsan, Anatolii P. Koval, Charles T. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The IGFs (IGF‐I and IGF‐II) are essential for normal mammalian growth and development. Their actions are mediated primarily by their interactions with the type I IGF receptor (IGF‐I receptor), a transmembrane tyrosine kinase. The ligands and the IGF‐I receptor are structurally related to insulin and to the insulin receptor, respectively. Analysis of evolutionary conservation has often provided insights into essential regions of molecules such as hormones and their receptors. The genes for insulin and IGFs have been partially characterized in a number of vertebrate species extending evolutionarily from humans as far back as fish. The sequences of the exons encoding the mature insulin and IGF peptides are highly conserved among vertebrate species, and IGF‐I‐Iike molecules are found in species whose origins extend back as much as 550 million years. The insulin receptor is also highly conserved in vertebrate species, and an insulinreceptor‐like molecule has been characterized in Drosophila. In contrast, IGF‐I receptors have only been characterized in mammalian species and partially studied in Xenopus, in which the tyrosine kinase domain is highly conserved. Studies are presently being undertaken to analyze in more detail the regulation of the genes encoding this important family of growth factors and the structure/function relationships in the gene products themselves. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-338
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Gene regulation
  • Growth hormones
  • Receptors
  • Tyrosine kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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