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Open Access Research article

Insulin-like growth factor-1 coordinately induces the expression of fatty acid and cholesterol biosynthetic genes in murine C2C12 myoblasts

C Ramana Bhasker* and Theodore Friedmann

Author Affiliations

Center for Molecular Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla CA 92093-0634 USA

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BMC Genomics 2008, 9:535  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-535

Published: 11 November 2008



We present evidence that a major aspect of the mechanism of acute signal transduction regulation by insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in cultured murine myoblasts is associated with a broad perturbation of many components of cholesterol and fatty acid biosynthetic pathways.


We have used microarray transcriptional analysis to examine the acute effects of IGF-1 on global patterns of gene expression in C2C12 myoblasts and have identified approximately 157 genes that are up-regulated and 75 genes down-regulated from 2- to 6-fold after treatment with IGF-1. Of the up-regulated genes, 19 genes are associated with cholesterol biosynthesis and 5 genes specify aspects of fatty acid biosynthesis. In addition 10 recognized transcription factors are significantly induced by IGF-1 at 1 hour.


The SREBPs, important regulators of fatty acid and cholesterol biosynthesis, operate via a post-transcriptional route and no significant transcriptional induction was observed in the 4 hr of IGF-1 treatment. Since there are no prior reports of significant and coordinated perturbations of fatty acid and cholesterol biosynthetic pathways with IGF-1 in muscle cells, these findings provide a substantive expansion of our understanding of IGF-1 action and the signal transduction pathways mediated by it, its variants and insulin.