Identification of UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase 2B15 (UGT2B15) as a Target for IGF1 and Insulin Action

Rive Sarfstein, Karthik Nagaraj, Shivang Parikh, Carmit Levy, Zvi Laron, Dafna Benayahu, Haim Werner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Normal growth and development in mammals are tightly controlled by numerous genetic factors and metabolic conditions. The growth hormone (GH)-insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) hormonal axis is a key player in the regulation of these processes. Dysregulation of the GH-IGF1 endocrine system is linked to a number of pathologies, ranging from growth deficits to cancer. Laron syndrome (LS) is a type of dwarfism that results from mutation of the GH receptor (GHR) gene, leading to GH resistance and short stature as well as a number of metabolic abnormalities. Of major clinical relevance, epidemiological studies have shown that LS patients do not develop cancer. While the mechanisms associated with cancer protection in LS have not yet been elucidated, genomic analyses have identified a series of metabolic genes that are over-represented in LS patients. We hypothesized that these genes might constitute novel targets for IGF1 action. With a fold-change of 11.09, UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B15 (UGT2B15) was the top up-regulated gene in LS. The UGT2B15 gene codes for an enzyme that converts xenobiotic substances into lipophilic compounds and thereby facilitates their clearance from the body. We investigated the regulation of UGT2B15 gene expression by IGF1 and insulin. Both hormones inhibited UGT2B15 mRNA levels in endometrial and breast cancer cell lines. Regulation of UGT2B15 protein levels by IGF1/insulin, however, was more complex and not always correlated with mRNA levels. Furthermore, UGT2B15 expression was dependent on p53 status. Thus, UGT2B15 mRNA levels were higher in cell lines expressing a wild-type p53 compared to cells containing a mutated p53. Animal studies confirmed an inverse correlation between UGT2B15 and p53 levels. In summary, increased UGT2B15 levels in LS might confer upon patient’s protection from genotoxic damage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1627
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 May 2022


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation


    • Laron syndrome
    • UGT2B15
    • growth hormone receptor
    • insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1)
    • p53


    Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase 2B15 (UGT2B15) as a Target for IGF1 and Insulin Action'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this