Computer-based characterization of epidermal growth factor precursor

Nature. 1984 Feb;307(5951):558-60. doi: 10.1038/307558a0.


The cDNA sequence of the precursor of mouse epidermal growth factor (EGFP) has recently been reported by two groups, both of whom noted the presence of repeated similar segments, each about 40 residues long. One of these repeat units overlaps with the sequence of epidermal growth factor itself. The sequence of epidermal growth factor has been reported to be similar to that of pancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor (PSTI) and a somewhat better match has been found with part of the sequence of bovine factor X, one of the blood coagulating factors. We report here that there is an even stronger similarity between the sequences of some of the repeat units of epidermal growth factor precursor and certain segments in factor X. This sequence similarity is also apparent in comparisons with other blood coagulation factors. On the basis of these sequence comparisons we suggest a scheme for the evolution of the epidermal growth factor precursor. We have also identified certain structural features in the precursor sequence that bear on the way in which the mature epidermal growth factor is generated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Cattle
  • Computers
  • DNA / genetics
  • Epidermal Growth Factor* / genetics
  • Factor X
  • Mice
  • Protein Precursors* / genetics


  • Protein Precursors
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • Factor X
  • DNA