Murine epidermal growth factor: structure and function Academic Article uri icon


  • Murine epidermal growth factor (EGF), a 53 amino acid protein, has been modified by enzymic digestion, site-specific chemical reactions, and recombinant DNA technology. After trypsin digestion the EGF derivatives EGF1-48 (called EGF-T) and EGF1-45 (called EGF-T2) were separated from the residual EGF and the C-terminal pentapeptide by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. EGF-T competes for binding to EGF receptors with the same efficiency as EGF. The EGF-T2 derivative had no detectable receptor binding activity even at 100 nM. The in vitro mitogenic potencies of EGF and EGF-T for Balb/c 3T3 cells were indistinguishable. Treatment of EGF-T with carboxypeptidase Y yielded two derivatives, EGF-T-(des-Arg48) and EGF-T-des(Leu47-Arg48). There was only a 3-7-fold diminution in the binding efficiency and mitogenic potency for EGF-T-(des-Arg48). However, there was more than a 100-fold decrease in the binding efficiency and mitogenic activity of EGF-T-des (Leu47-Arg48). These results indicated that Leu47 is intimately involved in the formation of the ligand-receptor complex. Studies with a number of proteases indicated that the C-terminus of EGF was susceptible to enzymic digestion; however, the N-terminus appears to be folded into a conformation which prevents access to proteolytic digestion. Consequently, the N-terminus was modified by preparing an analogue with recombinant DNA technology. Oligonucleotides corresponding to EGF(3-48). Met3 Lys21 residues were ligated in frame to a beta-galactosidase expression vector. The beta-Gal-EGF fusion protein was cleaved with cyanogen bromide and EGF(4-48).Lys21 purified.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


  • Burgess, Antony W
  • Lloyd, Christopher J
  • Smith, Sandra
  • Stanley, Edouard
  • Walker, Francesca
  • Fabri, Louis
  • Simpson, Richard J
  • Nice, Edouard C

publication date

  • July 12, 1988