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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The epidermal growth factor-like domain of recombinant human thrombomodulin exhibits mitogenic activity for Swiss 3T3 cells.

Thrombomodulin (TM) is an anticoagulant endothelial cell surface glycoprotein containing six tandem epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like structures. We prepared a recombinant TM peptide (rTME1-6, from R214GHWA to DSGK466 of native TM) composed of these six EGF-like structures and investigated the effect of rTME1-6 peptide on the growth of the Swiss 3T3 fibroblast cell line. It was found that rTME1-6 induced proliferation of Swiss 3T3 cells and accelerated [3H]thymidine uptake into their DNA. [3H]Thymidine uptake increased in a dose-dependent manner, plateauing at 50 ng/mL rTME1-6, which was 1.8 times the control level. rTME1-6 peptide (50 ng/mL) also accelerated the DNA synthesis of human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs), A549 (a human lung cancer cell line), HepG2 (a human hepatocarcinoma cell line), and U937 cells (a human monocytic cell line) to 1.5, 1.6, 1.4, and 1.2 times the control level, respectively. The magnitude of the acceleration of DNA synthesis in Swiss 3T3 induced by rTME1-6 was approximately 20% of that of EGF on a molar basis. The uptake of [3H]thymidine was accelerated synergistically by coculture of the cells with rTME1-6 and insulin, similar to the coculture with EGF and insulin. The effects of rTME1-6 were abolished by addition of polyclonal antihuman TM IgG, whereas the actions of insulin and EGF were not influenced. Glucose uptake in Swiss 3T3 cells also increased 1.6 times over control levels by culture with 50 ng/mL rTME1-6 (1.25 nmol/L), compared with 2.7 times by 10 ng/mL EGF (1.66 nmol/L). Binding of [125I]EGF (0.5 ng/mL, 0.083 nmol/L) by the cells was inhibited by about 60% by addition of an eight-fold molar excess of nonlabeled EGF (0.664 nmol/L), whereas no inhibition of [125I]EGF binding was observed, even in the presence of a 1,000-fold molar excess (83 nmol/L) of rTME1-6. Specific binding of [125I]rTME1-6 on the cells showed a saturation curve, and the apparent concentration of rTME1-6 required for half maximum binding of the peptide on the cells was calculated to be 31.5 ng/mL. Thus, the overall results indicated that the rTME1-6 peptide had mitogenic activity for Swiss 3T3 cells, accelerated DNA synthesis and glucose uptake, and that the mitogenic activity might be mediated by binding of the peptide to a specific site different from the EGF receptor.[1]


  1. The epidermal growth factor-like domain of recombinant human thrombomodulin exhibits mitogenic activity for Swiss 3T3 cells. Hamada, H., Ishii, H., Sakyo, K., Horie, S., Nishiki, K., Kazama, M. Blood (1995) [Pubmed]
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