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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 May 1;90(9):3889-93.

Appearance of heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor in wound fluid as a response to injury.

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  • 1Department of Surgical Research, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115.


Wound fluid was obtained from porcine partial-thickness excisional wounds and analyzed for heparin-binding growth factors. Two heparin-binding growth factor activities were detected, a relatively minor one that was eluted from a heparin affinity column with 0.65 M NaCl and a major one that was eluted with 1.1 M NaCl. These activities were not present in wound fluid 1 hr after injury but appeared 1 day after injury, were maximal 2-3 days after injury, and were not detectable by 8 days after injury. The heparin-binding growth factor eluted with 0.65 M NaCl was identified as a platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-like activity by the use of specific anti-PDGF neutralizing antibodies. The heparin-binding growth factor eluted with 1.1 M NaCl was shown to be structurally related to heparin-binding epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like growth factor (HB-EGF) by several criteria, including binding to heparin affinity columns and elution with 1.1 M NaCl, competition with the binding of 125I-EGF to the EGF receptor, triggering phosphorylation of the EGF receptor, immunodetection on a Western blot, and stimulation of fibroblast and keratinocyte growth. It was concluded that HB-EGF is a major growth factor component of wound fluid and, since it is mitogenic for fibroblasts and keratinocytes, that it might play an important role in wound healing.

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