Long-Term IGF1 Stimulation Leads to Cellular Senescence via Functional Interaction with the Thioredoxin-Interacting Protein, TXNIP

Karthik Nagaraj, Rive Sarfstein, Zvi Laron, Haim Werner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The growth hormone (GH)–insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) signaling pathway plays a major role in orchestrating cellular interactions, metabolism, growth and aging. Studies from worms to mice showed that downregulated activity of the GH/IGF1 pathway could be beneficial for the extension of lifespan. Laron syndrome (LS) is an inherited autosomal recessive disorder caused by molecular defects of the GH receptor (GHR) gene, leading to congenital IGF1 deficiency. Life-long exposure to minute endogenous IGF1 levels in LS is associated with low stature as well as other endocrine and metabolic deficits. Epidemiological surveys reported that patients with LS have a reduced risk of developing cancer. Studies conducted on LS-derived lymphoblastoid cells led to the identification of a novel link between IGF1 and thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP), a multifunctional mitochondrial protein. TXNIP is highly expressed in LS patients and plays a critical role in cellular redox regulation by thioredoxin. Given that IGF1 affects the levels of TXNIP under various stress conditions, including high glucose and oxidative stress, we hypothesized that the IGF1–TXNIP axis plays an essential role in helping maintain a physiological balance in cellular homeostasis. In this study, we show that TXNIP is vital for the cell fate choice when cells are challenged by various stress signals. Furthermore, prolonged IGF1 treatment leads to the establishment of a premature senescence phenotype characterized by a unique senescence network signature. Combined IGF1/TXNIP-induced premature senescence can be associated with a typical secretory inflammatory phenotype that is mediated by STAT3/IL-1A signaling. Finally, these mechanistic insights might help with the understanding of basic aspects of IGF1-related pathologies in the clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3260
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • IGF1 receptor
  • Laron syndrome
  • cellular senescence
  • insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1)


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