Insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs) -3 and -5 are known to interact with various components of the extracellular matrix (ECM; e.g. heparin and heparan sulphate) and this interaction is believed to affect the affinity of both IGFBP species for their cognate ligands – IGF-I and -II. There is little detail on the nature of the molecular complex formed between ECM components, IGFBPs and IGFs although the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) heparin has been reported to reduce the affinity of IGFBP-5 for IGF-I. In order to investigate this phenomenon further, we have undertaken an extensive surface plasmon resonance based biosensor study to report the affinity of IGFBP-3 and -5 for binding heparin (22 and 7 nM respectively). We have also shown that pre-complexation of IGFBP with IGF-I and -II inhibits the subsequent association of IGFBP with heparin and conversely that heparin complexation of IGFBP-3 and -5 inhibits IGFBP binding to biosensor surfaces containing immobilised IGF-I. In addition we have used both IGF-I and heparin coated biosensor surfaces in an attempt to build ternary IGF–IGFBP–heparin complexes in order to gain some insight into the nature of inhibition by heparin of IGFI–IGFBP complex formation. Our data lead us to conclude that the inhibition by heparin is partly competitive in nature, and that ternary complexes of IGF–IGFBP–heparin are either unable to form, or only form unstable transient complexes. The potential biological significance of our data is highlighted by the demonstration that IGF-I and IGF-II can displace endogenous IGFBP-5 from monolayer cultures of the mouse mammary epithelial cell line HC11.
- insulin growth factor
- molecular recognition characteristics