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FEBS Lett. 1997 May 19;408(2):121-3.

Rolling in the clover: trefoil factor family (TFF)-domain peptides, cell migration and cancer.

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Histopathology Unit, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, UK.


Trefoil factor family (TFF)-domain peptides 1-3 are mucin-associated molecules, largely found in epithelia of gastrointestinal tissues. Structurally similar, resistant to enzymatic degradation, they are up-regulated around areas of epithelial damage such as ulcers. Transgenic expression or exogenous peptide ameliorates or prevents gastric mucosal damage due to indomethacin and some are rapidly up-regulated after cryogenic burns. A role in promoting cell migration is strongly suggested. Knockout mice lacking TFF1 or TFF3 show significant pathology, with the former developing gastric tumours. A recent Conference Philippe Laudat agreed upon a new nomenclature for these peptides.

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