Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) is a small mitogenic polypeptide (∼6kDa) present in many mammalian species and distributed throughout a wide number of tissues and body fluids. Four ErbB (HER) family receptor tyrosine kinases, including EGFR/ErbB1, ErbB2, ErbB3, and ErbB4 mediate responses to EGF family members. Human and mouse EGFs are very similar, but not identical in their physical and chemical properties. Of the 53 amino acid residues comprising each of the two polypeptides, 37 are common to both molecules, and three disulfide bonds are formed in the same relative positions.
EGF (epidermal growth factor) is involved in cellular proliferation, differentiation, and survival. Moreover, it was found to affect various biological activities like angiogenesis, inhibition of gastric acid secretion, modulation of the synthesis of a number of hormones, synthesis and turn-over of proteins of the extracellular matrix, calcium release from bone tissue (thus promoting bone resorption), chemoattraction of fibroblasts and epithelial cells, and alone or in combination with other cytokines, mediation of wound healing processes. EGF is mitogenic for a large variety cell types, including fibroblasts, epithelial cells, endothelial cells, chondrocytes, and SV40-3T3 cells.
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