Bovine brain, hypothalamus, pituitary, and retina contain potent anionic polypeptide mitogens for endothelial cells. Immunological assays using murine monoclonal antibodies against bovine endothelial cell growth factor (ECGF) and radioreceptor assays using [125I]ECGF were performed to determine the cross-reactivity of ECGF with bovine acidic pI brain-derived fibroblast growth factor (acidic FGF) and bovine eye-derived growth factor-II [EDGF-II). We observed that acidic FGF and EDGF-II are recognized by anti-ECGF monoclonal antibodies and compete with [125I] ECGF for receptor occupancy. Furthermore, the biological activity of ECGF, acidic FGF, and EDGF-II is potentiated by the glycosaminoglycan, heparin. These results argue that ECGF, acidic FGF, and EDGF-II belong to a common family of polypeptide growth factors.

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