Transforming growth factors

TGFs represent yet another family of polypeptide mitogens. The members of this family include TGF-a, as well as several species of TGF-p. TGF-a is initially synthesized as an integral membrane protein. Proteolytic cleavage releases the soluble growth factor, which is a 50 amino acid polypeptide. This growth factor exhibits a high amino acid homology with EGF, and it induces its biological effects by binding to the EGF receptor. It is synthesized by various body tissues, as well as by monocytes and keratinocytes. It is also manufactured by many tumour cell types, for which it can act as an autocrine growth factor.

TGF-p was first described as a growth factor capable of inducing transformation of several fibroblast cell lines (hence the name TGFs). It is now recognized that 'TGF-P' actually

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