Sample Essay on Insulin-Like Growth Factor 2
Insulin-like growth factor 2 [IGF-2] is one of the known of the three protein hormones that share structural similarity to insulin [a peptide hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas]. This is a well-characterized neutral peptide that is believed to be secreted by the liver and circulates in the blood. This hormone has growth-regulating, mitogenic and insulin-like activities. The growth factor in this hormone is assumed to be a major fetal growth factor that contradicts to insulin-like growth factor 1, which is a great growth factor in adults.
In human beings the IGF-2 gene is located in chromosome 11p15.5 [cytogenetic location], an area which contains numerous imprinted genes- type of genes that can be expressed in a parent of-origin-specific manner. When it comes to mice, this homologous region is found at the distal chromosome 7. If a loss of imprinting occurs in humans, it results to both Insulin-like growth factor 2 and H19 that is being recorded for both parental allelomorphs.
On top of this, the protein Transcriptional repressor CTCF is involved in the repressing of information from gene used in the synthesis of a functional RNA or protein. The process in which the CTFC binds to these regions is unknown, but a direct DNA-CTCF interaction can work well through mediation with other proteins. In mammals, only the allele for Insulin-like growth factor 2 inbred from one’s father is practical while the other from the mother is inactive [imprinting]. Unfortunately, the CTCF can no longer bind to insulator and so the enhancer is free to turn on the fathers’ IGF-2 promoter. There are a number of functions of the IGF-2and they include;
- The Insulin-like growth factor 2 helps in gestation as it acts as a growth promoting hormone. Here, the IGF-2 puts forth its effect of binding to the IGF-1receptor- a protein found on the surface of human cells.
- IGF-2 also promotes granulosa cell production during the follicular stage of the menstrual cycle as well as act along the follicle stimulating hormone [FSH]. Following ovulation, IGF-2 stimulates progesterone and luteinizing hormone [LH] secretion during the luteal stage of menstrual cycle.
- A study at the European Neuroscience Institute-Goettingen [Germany] exhibited that the fear extinction-induced IGF2/IGFBP7 signaling promotes the existence of 17-19 day-old newborn hippocampal neurons. This clarifies that the therapeutic strategies that help improve IGF-2 signalling and neurogenesis in adults can aid to treat diseases that are connected to excessive fear memory such as Posttraumatic Stress disorder [PTSD] that develops in individuals exposed to assault, serious injury, death threats or rape.
Besides the abovementioned functions performed by Insulin-like growth factor 2, there are certain diseases associated with the condition. If the IGF-2 is produced in excess in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas cell tumors will cause hypoglycemia [involves reduced content of glucose in the blood]. IGF-2 due to its role in enhancing development of fetal pancreatic beta cells is assumed to cause some forms of diabetes mellitus.
Increased amount of Insulin-like growth factor 2 gene can also be associated with different kind of cancer. The IGF-2 stimulates growth of tumor cells and also aids prevent damaged cells from any further destruction. Losing of imprint of the Insulin-like growth factor 2 can lead to a cancer known as embryonal tumors. Other cancer types include cancer of the blood-forming cells [leukemia] and cancers of lung, liver colon, prostate and breast. Through genetic change, some medical researchers suggest that it can be easy to predict individuals at the risk of developing thee kind of cancers and related conditions.
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