EGF (epidermal growth factor) stimulates differentiation, proliferation and cell growth by binding to its receptor, EGFR. EGF was first discovered in the mouse submandibular gland in 1986 by Stanley Cohen of Vanderbilt University, leading to a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. Since then, EGF has been found in many tissues of the human body (including urine, saliva, plasma, milk, macrophages and platelets) and has been the subject of intense study in many areas of clinical research due to its many abilities. EGF from the salivary gland has been shown to maintain oro-esophageal and gastric tissue integrity, including healing of ulcers, inhibiting gastric acid secretion and stimulation of DNA synthesis. Low levels of EGF have also been linked to Parkinson’s Disease in the elderly. EGF has been used to study de novo trastuzumab resistant breast cancer. In cell culture, EGF has been used to culture single tumor cells to differentiate a self-renewing sub-population of human ovarian cancer cells. Another study of EGF was its use in reconstructing a human skin model to look at psoriasis. It is also of great interest in stem cell research, where it has been used to investigate PAX4 in beta-cell differentiation of stem cells.
The most common uses of EGF are in cell culture, ELISA and SDS-PAGE analysis, but because of the incredible power and versatility of the protein, it is being used in a wide range of experimental techniques across the world. EGF is available from many sources, but Novus Biologicals is the best choice due to its high purity, low cost (in some cases over 50% less than competitors), and a no-hassle guarantee of the product. Because of its versatility, Novus’ EGF should be a staple protein in any lab.
This guest blog was submitted by Novus customer, Shannon Cain of the University of Colorado Denver.