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The Neglected Insulin: IGF-II, a Metabolic Regulator with Implications for Diabetes, Obesity, and Cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Original languageEnglish
Issue number10
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Oct 2019
DatePublished (current) - 6 Oct 2019


When originally discovered, one of the initial observations was that, when all of the insulin peptide was depleted from serum, the vast majority of the insulin activity remained and this was due to a single additional peptide, IGF-II. The IGF-II gene is adjacent to the insulin gene, which is a result of gene duplication, but has evolved to be considerably more complicated. It was one of the first genes recognised to be imprinted and expressed in a parent-of-origin specific manner. The gene codes for IGF-II mRNA, but, in addition, also codes for antisense RNA, long non-coding RNA, and several micro RNA. Recent evidence suggests that each of these have important independent roles in metabolic regulation. It has also become clear that an alternatively spliced form of the insulin receptor may be the principle IGF-II receptor. These recent discoveries have important implications for metabolic disorders and also for cancer, for which there is renewed acknowledgement of the importance of metabolic reprogramming.



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