Acid soluble proteins from 23 samples of normal human gastrointestinal mucosa derived from four normal adult organ donors were extracted and subjected to specific radiommunoassays for transforming growth factor alpha (TGF alpha) and urogastrone epidermal growth factor (URO-EGF). All tissues were found to contain immunoreactive TGF alpha and levels ranged from 57 to 4,776 pg-1 wet weight of tissue. Although levels varied between tissue donors, the distribution of TGF alpha throughout the gastrointestinal tract appeared similar in all cases. URO-EGF levels were much lower (0-216 pg g-1 wet weight). TGF alpha levels in extracts of gastrointestinal mucosa from a 7-year-old female donor were higher and the observed distribution was markedly different from adult levels. URO-EGF was not detected in mucosal or submucosal tissue extracts from this patient. Further studies in juveniles are indicated.