Encyclopedia of Signaling Molecules

2018 Edition
| Editors: Sangdun Choi

Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)

  • Sigrid A. LanghansEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67199-4_101919


Historical Background

Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a growth factor best known for its ability to stimulate cell growth and proliferation. EGF was discovered as a result of the initial observations of Stanley Cohen and coworkers in the 1950s (Cohen 1986) in which the injection of extracts from mouse salivary glands into newborn mice resulted in precocious eyelid opening and tooth eruption. Subsequent studies revealed more generalized biological effects of salivary gland extracts, including enhancement of epidermal growth and keratinization. The factor mediating these effects was identified as a 6-kDa peptide of 53 amino acids and was thus named the epidermal growth factor. In later years and independent of these studies, urogastrone, long known as inhibitor of gastric acid secretion, was isolated from urine and found to be the human form of mouse EGF. EGF has now been detected in various additional body fluids and tissues including milk, urine,...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer ResearchNemours/Alfred I duPont Hospital for ChildrenWilmingtonUSA