PROSITE documentation PDOC00222
Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) family signature and profile


Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) [1,2] is a potent mitogen for cells of mesenchymal origin, including smooth muscle cells and glial cells. PDGF consists of two different but closely related chains (A and B chains) which assemble to form disulfide linked homo- or heterodimers (A-A, B-B, an A-B). Alternate splicing of the A chain transcript can give rise to two different forms that differ only in their C-terminal extremity. The transforming protein of simian sarcoma virus (SSV), encoded by the v-sis oncogene, is derived from the B chain of PDGF.

PDGF is structurally related to a number of other growth factors which also form disulfide-linked homo- or heterodimers:

  • Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), also known as vascular permeability factor (VPF) [3], a growth factor active in angiogenesis and endothelial cell growth. The genome of the orf poxvirus encodes an homolog of VEGF [4].
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor B (VEGF-B), also active in angiogenesis and endothelial cell growth [5].
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor B (VEGF-C), also active in angiogenesis and endothelial cell growth [6].
  • Placenta growth factor (PlGF) [7], which is also active in agiogenesis.

As a signature pattern for this family of growth factors, we selected a region that include four of the eight cysteines conserved in the sequences of these proteins. In PDGF, these cysteines are known to be involved in intra- and inter-chain disulfide bonds [8]. We also developed a profile that spans the eight conserved cysteines.

Last update:

December 2004 / Pattern and text revised.


Technical section

PROSITE methods (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

PDGF_2, PS50278; Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) family profile  (MATRIX)

PDGF_1, PS00249; Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) family signature  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsHannink M. Donoghue D.J.
TitleStructure and function of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and related proteins.
SourceBiochim. Biophys. Acta 989:1-10(1989).
PubMed ID2546599

2TitleHeldin C.-H. Structural and functional studies on platelet-derived growth factor.
SourceEMBO J. 11:4251-4259(1992).
PubMed ID1425569

3AuthorsFerrara N. Houck K.A. Jakeman L.B. Winer J. Leung D.W.
TitleThe vascular endothelial growth factor family of polypeptides.
SourceJ. Cell. Biochem. 47:211-218(1991).
PubMed ID1791185

4AuthorsLyttle D.J. Fraser K.M. Fleming S.B. Mercer A.A. Robinson A.J.
TitleHomologs of vascular endothelial growth factor are encoded by the poxvirus orf virus.
SourceJ. Virol. 68:84-92(1994).
PubMed ID8254780

5AuthorsOlofsson B. Pajusola K. Kaipainen A. von Euler G. Joukov V. Saksela O. Orpana A. Pettersson R.F. Alitalo K. Eriksson U.
SourceProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 93:2567-2581(1996).

6AuthorsJoukov V. Pajusola K. Kaipainen A. Chilov D. Lahtinen I. Kukk E. Saksela O. Kalkkinen N. Alitalo K.
TitleA novel vascular endothelial growth factor, VEGF-C, is a ligand for the Flt4 (VEGFR-3) and KDR (VEGFR-2) receptor tyrosine kinases.
SourceEMBO J. 15:290-298(1996).
PubMed ID8617204

7AuthorsMaglione D. Guerriero V. Viglietto G. Ferraro M.G. Aprelikova O. Alitalo K. Del Vecchio S. Lei K.J. Chou J.Y. Persico M.G.
TitleTwo alternative mRNAs coding for the angiogenic factor, placenta growth factor (PlGF), are transcribed from a single gene of chromosome 14.
SourceOncogene 8:925-931(1993).
PubMed ID7681160

8AuthorsOefner C. D'Arcy A. Winkler F.K. Eggimann B. Hosang M.
TitleCrystal structure of human platelet-derived growth factor BB.
SourceEMBO J. 11:3921-3926(1992).
PubMed ID1396586

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