The term growth factor encompasses a complex family of polypeptide hormones, steroid hormones, or biological factors that are capable of stimulating cell growth, proliferation and differentiation. Growth factors are important for regulating a variety of cellular processes, including regulating tissue morphogenesis, angiogenesis, cell differentiation, and neurite outgrowth. Growth factors typically act as signaling molecules between cells. Activities of growth factors are mediated via binding to transmembrane receptors that often contain cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase domains. For the last two decades, growth factors have been increasingly used in the treatment of hematologic and oncologic diseases and cardiovascular diseases like: neutropenia, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), leukemias, aplastic anaemia, bone marrow transplantation, angiogenesis for cardiovascular diseases.
What are Growth Factors
Growth factors, which generally considered as a subset of cytokines, refer to the diffusible signaling proteins that stimulate cell growth, differentiation, survival, inflammation, and tissue repair.
Classes of Growth Factors
Numerous growth factors have been isolated, and they are classified into different families on the basis of their target cells, functions, structures and molecular evolution. Some well-known families are demonstrated as follows:
- Fibroblast growth factor family
- Vascular endothelial growth factor family
- Insulin-like growth factor family
- Epidermal growth factor family
- Platelet-derived growth factor
- Nerve growth factor family
- Hepatocyte growth factor family
- Hepatoma-derived growth factor family
- Connective tissue growth factor family
- Transforming Growth Factor α (TGFα) family
- Transforming Growth Factor β (TGFβ) family
Growth Factor Signaling
When a growth factor and its receptor bind together, the receptor can either transiently exert its kinase activity or form a complex with an intracellular tyrosine or serine/threonine kinase.
Growth Factors & Receptors in Clinical use
Growth factors play an important role in various cellular processes. The growth factors themselves and their inhibitors or antibodies can be widely used in disease therapy. Nowadays, researchers have made great progress in the treatment of oncologic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetic mellitus etc.
NovoPro offers high-quality reagents for research on growth factors and their receptors, including recombinant proteins, antibodies, and ORF cDNA clones.