Growth factors + cytokines

Growth factors and cytokines are vital cell signaling molecules that control cell activities. They are crucial to a cell’s biological function because they bind to specific receptors and activate downstream signaling pathways that ultimately stimulate a biological response. Due to their crucial role in cell proliferation and differentiation, growth factors and cytokines are absolutely indispensable to human physiology research, developmental biology, stem cell research, and cancer research.

In this video, you will learn about signaling mechanisms, classifications, and applications of growth factors and cytokines in cell biology.

Growth factors + aging

elderly woman watering houseplants


Simple organisms including yeast and flies with mutations in the IGF-1 and Tor-S6K pathways are dwarfs, are highly protected from toxins, and survive up to 3 times longer. Similarly, dwarf mice with deficiencies in the growth hormone-IGF-I axis are also long-lived and protected from diseases. We recently reported that humans with Growth Hormone Receptor Deficiency (GHRD) rarely develop cancer or diabetes.

These findings are in agreement with the effect of defects in the Tor-S6K pathways in causing dwarfism and protection of DNA. Because protein restriction reduces both GHR-IGF-1 axis and Tor-S6K activity, we examined links between protein intake, disease, and mortality in over 6,000 US subjects in the NHANES CDC database.

Respondents aged 50–65 reporting a high protein intake displayed an increase in IGF-I levels, a 75% increased risk of overall mortality and a 3–4 fold increased risk of cancer mortality and these findings were confirmed in mouse studies. These studies point to a conserved link between proteins and amino acids, GHR-IGF-1/insulin, Tor-S6k signaling, aging, and diseases.

FULL TEXT: Growth Hormone IGF Research