Basic and acidic fibroblast growth factors (FGF's) are potent mitogens for capillary endothelial cells in vitro, stimulate angiogenesis in vivo, and may participate in tissue repair. An oligonucleotide probe for bovine basic FGF was designed from the nucleotide sequence of the amino-terminal exon of bovine acidic FGF, taking into account the 55 percent amino acid sequence homology between the two factors. With this oligonucleotide probe, a full length complementary DNA for basic FGF was isolated from bovine pituitary. Basic FGF in bovine hypothalamus was shown to be encoded by a single 5.0-kilobase messenger RNA; in a human hepatoma cell line, both 4.6- and 2.2-kilobase basic FGF messenger RNA's were present. Both growth factors seem to be synthesized with short amino-terminal extensions that are not found on the isolated forms for which the amino acid sequences have been determined. Neither basic nor acidic FGF has a classic signal peptide.

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