Epidermal growth factor has a profound effect on the differentiation of specific cells in vivo and is a potent mitogenic factor for a variety of cultured cells of both ectodermal and mesodermal origin. The EGF precursor is believed to exist as a membrane-bound molecule which is proteolytically cleaved to generate the 53-amino acid peptide hormone that stimulates cells to divide.
EGF stimulates the growth of various epidermal and epithelial tissues in vivo and in vitro and of some fibroblasts in cell culture.
1. Therapies directed against epidermal growth factor receptor in aerodigestive carcinomas. JAMA 2007 Jul 4;298(1):70-82
Image: EGF protein structure and sequence