Salivary EGF, which seems to be regulated by dietary inorganic iodine, also plays an important physiological role in the maintenance of oro-esophageal and gastric tissue integrity. The biological effects of salivary EGF include healing of oral and gastroesophageal ulcers, inhibition of gastric acid secretion, stimulation of DNA synthesis as well as mucosal protection from intraluminal injurious factors such as gastric acid, bile acids, pepsin, and trypsin and to physical, chemical and bacterial agents.
Epidermal growth factor can be found in urine, saliva, milk, tears, and plasma.
The production of epidermal growth factor has been found to be stimulated by testosterone.
EGF is the founding member of the EGF-family of proteins. Members of this protein family have highly similar structural and functional characteristics. Besides EGF itself other family members include:
This sequence contains six cysteine residues that form three intramolecular disulfide bonds. Disulfide bond formation generates three structural loops that are essential for high-affinity binding between members of the EGF-family and their cell-surface receptors.
Recombinant human epidermal growth factor, sold under the brand name Heberprot-P, is used to treat diabetic foot ulcers. It can be given by injection into the wound site, or may be used topically. Tentative evidence shows improved wound healing. Safety has been poorly studied.
EGF plays an enhancer role on osteogenic differentiation of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) because it is capable of increasing extracellular matrix mineralization. A low concentration of EGF (10 ng/ml) is sufficient to induce morphological and phenotypic changes. These data suggests that DPSCs in combination with EGF could be an effective stem cell-based therapy to bone tissue engineering applications in periodontics and oral implantology.
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^Berlanga J, Fernández JI, López E, López PA, del Río A, Valenzuela C, Baldomero J, Muzio V, Raíces M, Silva R, Acevedo BE, Herrera L (January 2013). "Heberprot-P: a novel product for treating advanced diabetic foot ulcer". MEDICC Review. 15 (1): 11–5. doi:10.1590/s1555-79602013000100004. PMID23396236.
^Yang S, Geng Z, Ma K, Sun X, Fu X (June 2016). "Efficacy of Topical Recombinant Human Epidermal Growth Factor for Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis". The International Journal of Lower Extremity Wounds. 15 (2): 120–5. doi:10.1177/1534734616645444. PMID27151755.