DES(1-3)IGF is a truncated form of IGF-1 with the tri-peptide structure Glycine-Proline-Glutamine cleaved from the N-terminus. It has been isolated from and detected in numerous in vivo sources, including the human brain, bovine colostrum, and porcine uterus. In vitro studies demonstrate that at equal doses DES(1-3)IGF is ten times more potent than IGF-1 at stimulating hypertrophy and proliferation in cultured cells. It is likely generated through post-translational modification in the sequence of circulating mature IGF-1 via protease action.
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The clearance rate from plasma of DES(1-3)IGF is four times faster than IGF-1, although the metabolic effects last for three to five times those of IGF-1. This is likely because DES(1-3)IGF remains in higher concentrations, post-clearance, in the extracellular space of target tissues than does IGF-1.
DES(1-3)IGF holds promise for inflammatory bowel disease treatment, as it has been demonstrated in vivo to bind preferentially to gut tissue; it also, like other forms of IGF-1, should prove useful in treating catabolic states such as those from wasting diseases.