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Nature. 1990 Nov 15;348(6298):257-60.

Structure, expression and function of a schwannoma-derived growth factor.

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  • 1Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego, California 92186-5800.


During the development of the nervous system, cells require growth factors that regulate their division and survival. To identify new growth factors, serum-free growth-conditioned media from many clonal cell lines were screened for the presence of mitogens for central nervous system glial cells. A cell line secreting a potent glial mitogen was established from a tumour (or 'schwannoma') derived from the sheath of the sciatic nerve. The cells of the tumour, named JS1 cells, were adapted to clonal culture and identified as Schwann cells. Schwann cells secrete an autocrine mitogen and human schwannoma extracts have mitogenic activity on glial cells. Until now, neither mitogen has been purified. Here we report the purification and characterization of a mitogenic molecule, designated schwannoma-derived growth factor (SDGF), from the growth-conditioned medium of the JS1 Schwann cell line. SDGF belongs to the epidermal growth factor family, and is an autocrine growth factor as well as a mitogen for astrocytes, Schwann cells and fibroblasts.

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