The structure of the messenger RNA (mRNA) encoding the precursor to mouse submaxillary epidermal growth factor (EGF) was determined from the sequence of a set of overlapping complementary DNA's (cDNA). The mRNA is unexpectedly large, about 4750 nucleotide bases, and predicts the sequence of preproEGF, a protein of 1217 amino acids (133,000 molecular weight). The EGF moiety (53 amino acids) is flanked by polypeptide segments of 976 and 188 amino acids at its amino and carboyxl termini, respectively. The amino terminal segment of the precursor contains seven peptides with sequences that are similar but not identical to EGF.

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