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Year : 1994  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 45-52

Role of epidermal growth factor and transforming growth factor-alpha in urogenital disorders


Division of Urology and Transplantation Surgery, University of Massachusetts Medical Centre, Worcester, Massachusetts

Correspondence Address:
R Indudhara
Division of Urology and Transplantation Surgery, University of Massachusetts Medical Centre, Worcester, Massachusetts

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Growth factors are a class of proteins, which bind to specific receptors located on the cell surface. This growth factor-receptor combination induces a variety of intra-cellular events, resulting in variable responses such as growth promotion (mitogenic effect), differentiation or growth suppression in susceptible target cells. This review describes the structure of epidermal growth factor, transforming growth factor-alpha and their receptors; their tissue distribution in experimental animals and humans, and their actions observed in various in vitro and in vivo studies. The clinical significance of these growth factors in urological conditions is highlighted. The continued research concerning the mechanisms, at the cellular and molecular levels,involved in various physiological and pathological conditions such as oncogenesis has generated tremendous enthusiasm regarding the possible application of newer methods in the management of urological conditions. One such example is the use of epidermalgrowth factor antagonists such as suramin in the management of hormone-resistant prostate cancer. The potential for clinical use of EGF/TGF-alpha in urological disorders is under evaluation.


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