DISCOVER Bioactive Small Molecules for Cytokines & Growth Factors Research

Cytokines and growth factors (GF) are chemical messengers that mediate intracellular communication, thereby regulating cellular and nuclear functions. These chemical messengers bind cell surface receptors, which may then interact with other cellular components to complete the signal transduction process. Growth factor and cytokine receptors include many that are linked through G-proteins to membrane-bound phospholipase C (PLC) as well as protein tyrosine kinases (PTK). Activation of protein kinases catalyzes phosphorylation of other cellular proteins, which may mediate functional processes in the cell or be one step in a protein kinase cascade that regulates nuclear events. Growth factors that activate tyrosine kinase receptors include epidermal growth factor (EGF), fibroblast growth factors (FGF), platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), neurotrophins, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and insulin-like growth factor (IGF). The receptor tyrosine kinases activated by these ligands include:

  • EGF receptor (EGFR) - Family members of EGFR (e.g. Her-2/ErbB-2) have been associated with proliferation of tumor cells, enhanced tumor survival, angiogensis, and metastatic spread.

  • FGF receptors (FGFR) - The FGF signaling pathway is involved in embryonic cell proliferation, migration, differentiation and survival. In an adult organism, FGFRs function in tissue repair and response to injury.

  • PDGF receptors (PDGFR) - PDGF receptors activate various enzymes, transcription factors, and adaptor molecules. PDGFs have important roles in embryonic development, wound healing, and regulation of interstitial fluid pressure of tissues.

  • Trk - The Trk family of cell surface proteins are receptor tyrosine kinases that act as receptors for neurotropins. Trks mediate neuronal survival, axon and dendritic growth, chemoattraction, and synaptic plasticity.

  • VEGF receptors (VEGFR) - Members of the VEGFR family are specific tyrosine kinase receptors that are involved in mediation of blood vascular endothelial cell (BEC) proliferation, angiogensis, vasculogenesis, and embryonic organization of vasculature.

Due to the observations of EGFR in many types of cancer, it has been identified as an important target for drug development. Other growth factors and chemokines have been associated with defects and pathogenesis of diseases, which is not surprising given the important roles that they plan in a wide variety of biological processes. Sigma® Life Science understands that in drug development, it is essential to ensure that your target is the right target. Sigma offers several inhibitors, agonists and antagonists for target identification and validation in cytokine and growth factor research; a selection of these research tools is shown below.

 

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