We purified from a side fraction of the commercial preparation of urokinase from large volumes of human urine a high-molecular-weight (HMW) form of human epidermal growth factor (hEGF). Sequence analysis of the amino terminus of the intact molecule and of two tryptic fragments and carboxypeptidase Y analysis revealed the molecule to correspond to residues 828-1023 of the hEGF precursor predicted by the nucleotide sequence of human renal hEGF mRNA, with hEGF forming its carboxyl terminus. HMW hEGF bound poorly to concanavalin A-agarose, quite avidly to wheat germ lectinagarose, and completely to phenyl boronate-agarose, suggesting that it was O-glyco-sylated. Sephacryl S-200 chromatography of freshly-voided urine revealed mostly hEGF, with smaller amounts of a much higher molecular weight hEGF, but little material that was the size of the HMW hEGF we characterized. The large fragment we characterized presumably is cleaved from the larger form by enzyme(s) present in urine during the collection, storage, and processing of urine. We have confirmed that hEGF is synthesized as a large precursor molecule, as predicted by the nucleotide sequence of hEGF mRNA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology