Transforming growth factor-alpha: a more potent angiogenic mediator than epidermal growth factor

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Science  06 Jun 1986:
Vol. 232, Issue 4755, pp. 1250-1253
DOI: 10.1126/science.2422759


Transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) are structurally related peptides. Purified human TGF-alpha produced in Escherichia coli and pure natural mouse EGF were compared for their ability to bind to target cells in vitro and to promote angiogenesis in the hamster cheek pouch bioassay. Both polypeptides were found to bind in vitro to several target cells, including endothelial cells, and to stimulate their DNA synthesis in an equipotent fashion. In vivo, however, TGF-alpha was more potent than EGF in promoting angiogenesis and, because TGF-alpha is known to be secreted by a variety of human tumors, it is suggested that this growth factor may contribute to tumor-induced angiogenesis.

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