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Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), also called somatomedin C, is a hormone similar in molecular structure to insulin which plays an important role in childhood growth, and has anabolic effects in adults.
IGF-1 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the IGF1 gene. IGF-1 consists of 70 amino acids in a single chain with three intramolecular disulfide bridges. IGF-1 has a molecular weight of 7,649 Daltons.IGF-1 is produced primarily by the liver. Production is stimulated by growth hormone (GH). Most of IGF-1 is bound to one of 6 binding proteins (IGF-BP). IGFBP-1 is regulated by insulin. IGF-1 is produced throughout life; the highest rates of IGF-1 production occur during the pubertal growth spurt. The lowest levels occur in infancy and old age. Protein intake increases IGF-1 levels in humans under age 65, independent of total calorie consumption.
A synthetic analog of IGF-1, mecasermin, is used in children for the treatment of growth failure.

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