epidermal growth factor

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ep·i·der·mal growth fac·tor (EGF),

a heat-stable antigenic protein isolated from the submaxillary glands of male mice; when injected into newborn animals, it accelerates eyelid opening and tooth eruption, stimulates epidermal growth and keratinization, and, in larger doses, inhibits body growth and hair development and produces fatty livers.

epidermal growth factor (EGF)

a mitogenic polypeptide produced by many cell types and made in large amounts by some tumors. It promotes growth and differentiation, is essential in embryogenesis, and is also important in wound healing. It has been found to be part of a family of compounds that includes also transforming growth factor.


A gene on chromosome 4q25 that encodes epidermal growth factor, a potent mitogen that plays a key role in the growth, proliferation and differentiation of numerous cell types; it acts by binding the high-affinity cell surface receptor, epidermal growth factor receptor.

Molecular pathology
Defects in EGF cause hypomagnesaemia type 4; EGF dysregulation is linked to the growth and progression of certain cancers.


pertaining to or emanating from epidermis.

epidermal appendage
see hair, claw, hoof, horn, chestnut (1), ergot2, dewclaw, comb, wattle, spur (3), pad, footpad, beak, frontal process, feather (1), cere, scale, fin, antler, bristle (1), wool, mohair, cashmere, angora.
epidermal clefts
slit-like discontinuities in the epidermis that do not contain fluid.
epidermal collarette
a feature of a skin lesion, consisting of an encircling rim of epidermal scale with the free edge toward the central area. May represent the margins of an earlier bulla, vesicle or pustule. Characteristic of bullous pemphigoid.
epidermal crust
a consolidated mass of cellular debris, dried exudate, serum, hair, epidermophytic hyphae. Usually is dry and crumbly but in parakeratosis may have a greasy feel about it.
epidermal cyst, epidermoid cyst
an intradermal or subcutaneous cyst containing keratinizing squamous epithelium. It arises from occluded hair follicles. Called also infundibular cyst, wen.
epidermal dysplasia
abnormal development of individual cells of the epidermis. In West Highland white terriers, a familial skin disease characterized by seborrhea, pruritus, alopecia and lichenification from an early age. Infection by Malassezia spp. is a common feature. See also inherited epidermal dysplasia of calves.
epidermal growth factor
a potent growth factor for both epithelial and fibroblast cells.
epidermal lacunae
see epidermal clefts (above).
epidermal laminae
structures formed of epidermal pegs; part of the interdigitating structure between the dermis and the epidermis. Called also epidermal ridges.
epidermal limbi
the layer of soft, light-colored horn that covers the outer side of the coronary border and merges with the horn of the hoof.
epidermal-melanin unit
a melanocyte and adjacent keratinocytes.
epidermal necrolysis
see toxic epidermal necrolysis.
epidermal nibbles
focal areas of epidermal edema, eosinophils and necrosis; suggestive of ectoparasite injury to the skin.
epidermal papilla
a knob-like projection of the epidermis into the dermis; a touch receptor. Called also tylotrich pad and haarscheiben.
epidermal pegs
see rete pegs.
epidermal renewal time
see keratinocyte transit time.
epidermal ridge
see rete ridge.
References in periodicals archive ?
The prognostic significance of proliferating cell nuclear antigen, epidermal growth factor receptor, and mdr gene expression in colorectal cancer.
In the July 5, 1989 JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE, he and Tim Tak Kwok reported that the presence of epidermal growth factor -- a normally nonlethal cytokine -- enhanced the radiation sensitivity of human squamous carcinoma cells.
Human skin wounds heal faster when treated with epidermal growth factor (EGF), according to a new study.
He says other possible targets include squamous cell carcinoma and bladder cancer, because those cancer cells have excess receptors for the so-called epidermal growth factor.
While she and her colleagues observed p-glycoprotein and sorcin gene amplification, the increased levels of epidermal growth factor are due not to gene amplification but to increased protein production by its gene, she says.
This factor, later termed epidermal growth factor (EGF), stimulates many different processes in the body, including proliferation of cells in the skin, cornea, immune systems, liver, blood cells, thyroid, ovaries and pituitary gland.

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