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Cell. 1990 Oct 5;63(1):167-74.

Identification of a ligand for the c-kit proto-oncogene.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Hematology, Immunex Corporation, Seattle, Washington 98101.


We report the purification and N-terminal amino acid sequence of a novel mast cell growth factor, termed MGF, from the supernatants of a murine stromal cell line. A panel of interleukin 3-dependent cell lines were screened for responsiveness to partially purified MGF in [3H]thymidine incorporation assays; proliferative stimulation of these cells in response to MGF correlated with expression of mRNA for the c-kit protooncogene. MGF was shown to be a ligand for c-kit by cross-linking 125I-labeled MGF to c-kit-expressing cells with subsequent immunoprecipitation of the complex with antiserum specific for the C-terminus of c-kit. This establishes MGF as a ligand for the c-kit protein.

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