PERSPECTIVES AND SUMMARY The understanding of the biochemistry that underlies the regulation of cell proliferation has been significantly affected by recent advances in the cellular and molecular mechanism of action of peptide growth factors. Although a complete understanding of these processes is still quite distant, biochemical mechanisms and molecular structures are replacing the descriptive body of experimental results available until a few years ago . At this point the number of discrete , well-defined, peptide growth factors is nearly 20 and undoubtedly more remain to be uncovered. Not unlike hormones in general, growth factors may have other biological activities in addition to the stimulation of cell proliferation . Some of the peptide growth factors are known to act, depending 881 0066-4154/87/0701-0881$02.00 CARPENTER on cell type and physiological circumstances, as growth inhibitors or inducers of cell differentiation. Studies with radiolabeled growth factors have shown clearly that the initial step in the interaction of these extracellular signals with target cells is the rapid and high-affinity binding to receptors present on the plasma membrane. The structural and functional properties of these receptors have been the target of intensive research recently, and at this point there exists a considerable body of data
Annual Review of Biochemistry – Annual Reviews
Published: Jul 1, 1987
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