Paediatrics Publications


Site-Specific IGFBP-1 Hyper-Phosphorylation in Fetal Growth Restriction: Clinical and Functional Relevance

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Journal of Proteome Research





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Phosphorylation enhances IGFBP-1 binding to IGF-I, thereby limiting the bioavailability of IGF-I that may be important in fetal growth. Our goal in this study was to determine whether changes in site-specific IGFBP-1 phosphorylation were unique to fetal growth restriction. To establish a link, we compared IGFBP-1 phosphorylation (sites and degree) in amniotic fluid from FGR (N = 10) and controls (N = 12). The concentration of serine phosphorylated IGFBP-1 showed a negative correlation with birth weight in FGR (P = 0.049). LC-MS/MS analysis revealed all four previously identified phosphorylation sites (Ser98, Ser101, Ser119, and Ser169) to be common to FGR and control groups. Relative phosphopeptide intensities (LC-MS) between FGR and controls demonstrated 4-fold higher intensity for Ser101 (P = 0.026), 7-fold for Ser98/Ser101 (P = 0.02), and 23-fold for Ser169 (P = 0.002) in the FGR group. Preliminary BIAcore data revealed 4-fold higher association and 1.7-fold lower dissociation constants for IGFBP-1/IGF-I in FGR. A structural model of IGFBP-1 bound to IGF-I indicates that all the phosphorylation sites are on relatively mobile regions of the IGFBP-1 sequence. Residues Ser98, Ser101, and Ser169 are close to structured regions that are involved in IGF-I binding and, therefore, could potentially make direct contact with IGF-I. On the other hand, residue Ser119 is in the middle of the unstructured linker that connects the N- and C-terminal domains of IGFBP-1. The model is consistent with the assumption that residues Ser98, Ser101, and Ser169 could directly interact with IGF-I, and therefore phosphorylation at these sites could change IGF-I interactions. We suggest that site-specific increase in IGFBP-1 phosphorylation limits IGF-I bioavailability, which directly contributes to the development of FGR. This study delineates the potential role of higher phosphorylation of IGFBP-1 in FGR and provides the basis to substantiate these findings with larger sample size.