It’s a fact that work with growth factors—the unique cell signaling molecules that play important roles in cell proliferation and development—benefits from the use of pure, high-quality proteins.

That’s why Gibco® growth factors are designed to give you:

  • High biological activity—more results with less protein
  • High purity—minimized interference from proteins or other contaminants
  • Proven compatibility—Gibco® proteins bioassayed with Gibco® media

View all recombinant growth factors (A–Z)

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Fibroblast Growth Factor basic, FGF basic or FGF 2, belongs to a large FGF protein family involved in many aspects of development including cell proliferation, growth, and differentiation. FGF-basic is a critical component for maintaining embryonic stem cells in culture in an undifferentiated state.

Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is a used in the maintenance of motor neurons and the differentiation of both cholinergic and dopaminergic neurons.

β-NGF, Beta-Nerve Growth Factor, is important for the development and maintenance of the sympathetic and sensory nervous systems. The active form of human β-NGF is a noncovalently disulfide-linked homodimer, and three disulfide bonds are required for biological activity.

IL-4 is a pleiotropic cytokine produced by activated T cells. It participates in at least several B cell activation processes as well as of other cell types and is a co-stimulator of DNA synthesis.

IL-6 is a cytokine with a wide variety of biological functions. For example, it is a potent inducer of the acute phase response, plays an essential role in the final differentiation of B cells into Ig-secreting cells, and it also induces myeloma and plasmacytoma growth and induces nerve cells differentiation.

Granulocyte Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF) is involved in many biological responses including the growth and development of granulocyte and macrophage progenitor cells, stimulation and the initiation of differentiation of myeloblasts and monoblasts, and chemotaxis of eosinophils.

Human Interleukin 2 (IL2) causes proliferation of T-cells and is a central regulator of immune responses. IL2 stimulates the growth and differentiation of B cells, natural killer (NK) cells, lymphocyte activated killer (LAK) cells, monocytes/macrophages and oligodendrocytes.

SCF, Stem Cell Factor, is a cytokine that can exist both as a transmembrane protein and a soluble protein, playing an important role in hematopoiesis, spermatogenesis, and melanogenesis. Mutations in SCF or its receptor, c-kit, can result in anemia that may be severe enough to cause death.

IFN-gamma, in addition to having antiviral activity, has important immunoregulatory functions. It is a potent activator of macrophages, it has antiproliferative effects on transformed cells, and it can potentiate the antiviral and antitumor affects of the type I interferons.

EGF, Epidermal Growth Factor, acts a potent mitogenic factor that plays an important role in the growth, proliferation and various epidermal and epithelial tissues in vivo and in vitro and of some fibroblasts in cell culture. Dysregulation of EGF production has been associated with the growth and progression of certain cancers.

Get the “Growth Facts” About Growth Factors

To help you get your desired cell culture results every time, we’ve compiled a list from experienced researchers of important facts about growth factors.

The Growth Facts

  1. Stanley Cohen of Vanderbilt University and Rita Levi-Montalcini of the Institute of Cell Biology of the CNR won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1986 for their 1962 discovery of the growth factors NGF & EGF.
  2. The sequence of amino acids permits growth factors to be grouped by family, suggesting that they evolved from a single ancestral protein.
  3. Since the protein sequences display high homology, Gibco® growth factors may be used with cells from many species.
  4. The National Institute for Biological Standards and Control along with the WHO maintain reference standards for many growth factors. Gibco® growth factors are calibrated according to these standards when available.
  5. ED50 is reported as a range because many cell-based assays exhibit assay-to-assay variation that is independent of the inherent biological activity of the protein. The ED50 range is derived from multiple independent assays of a given lot.
  6. The half max value (50%) of a biological response is equivalent to one unit (1 U) of activity.
  7. Interferon, the first cytokine discovered, was identified by British virologist Alick Isaacs and the Swiss researcher Jean Lindenmann in 1957 during their studies on virus interference.
  8. Growth factors, like most proteins, are more stable when stored in undiluted, concentrated form. They should not be repeatedly frozen and thawed.

Growth Factor Validation & Quality


Figure 1. High purity.
SDS-PAGE analysis of purified recombinant human RANTES (Cat. No. PHC1054) and mouse SCF (Cat. No. PMC2114).
Figure 2. More bioactive protein due to exceptional refolding techniques.
Proliferation of MO7e cells in response to SCF from GIBCO® and the competitor (Cat. No. PHC2115). As illustrated by the lower ED50, less GIBCO® SCF is required to yield a response.

Figure 3. Structural homogeneity.
The SDS-PAGE gel was run on Human BMP-2 (Cat. No. PHC7145) under reducing (lanes 2 and 3) and non-reducing (lanes 4 and 5) conditions. Under non-reducing conditions, BMP-2 is seen as a dimer, consistent with biologically active BMP-2.
Figure 4. Calcium flux confirms expected biological response. Calcium flux activation was observed by stimulating Fura-2–loaded rat PMNs with the GIBCO® chemokine CINC-2β (Cat. No. PRC1564).

Figure 5. High bioactivity of FGF-basic.
Proliferation of Balb/3T3 cells in response to FGF (Cat. No. PHG0024) is demonstrated. GIBCO® FGF-basic is more active than the competitor’s FGF-basic.
Figure 6. Protease activity confirms protein functionality.
Enzymatic activity of Kallikrein 4 (KLK4) was measured by its ability to cleave fluorogenic peptide substrate Boc-Val-Pro-Arg-AMC. The end product is measured using fluorescence excitation and emission wavelengths of 380 nm and 460 nm, respectively.
Growth Factors for Your Clinical Research

CTS™ growth factors offer:

  • ISO 13485 quality
  • High purity
  • High activity

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For research use only. It is not intended for animal or human therapeutic or diagnostic use.