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Pancreas. 1990 May;5(3):278-83.

Epidermal growth factor and its receptors in human pancreatic carcinoma.

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  • 1Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.


The role of epidermal growth factor (EGF) in oncogenesis and progression of malignant tumors is a subject of vast interest. In this study, radioimmunoassay and radioreceptor assay of EGF were established. EGF contents in malignant and benign pancreatic tumors, in normal pancreas tissue, and in culture media of a human pancreatic carcinoma cell line were determined. EGF receptor binding studies were performed. It was shown that EGF contents in pancreatic carcinomas were significantly higher than those in normal pancreas or benign pancreatic tumors. EGF was also detected in the culture medium of a pancreatic carcinoma cell line. The binding of 125I-EGF to the pancreatic carcinoma cells was time and temperature dependent, reversible, competitive, and specific. Scatchard analysis showed that the dissociation constant of EGF receptor was 2.1 X 10(-9) M, number of binding sites was 1.3 X 10(5) cell. These results indicate that there is an over-expression of EGF/EGF receptors in pancreatic carcinomas, and that an autocrine regulatory mechanism may exist in the growth-promoting effect of EGF on tumor cells.

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