• Epidermal growth factor;
  • Apoptosis;
  • Proliferation;
  • Cell cycle;
  • Adhesion


Interaction between epidermal growth factor (EGF) and EGF receptor (EGFR) promotes cell growth in most cell lines, but in a number of cell lines, EGF paradoxically inhibits proliferation. In the present study, we established a cell line expressing full-length human EGFR on membrane with a GFP fluorescence reporter at the C-terminal and studied the effects of EGF on cell proliferation in the transfected cell line. Our results suggested that low concentrations of EGF promoted proliferation, while high concentrations of EGF induced loss of adhesion, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and inhibition of proliferation. The effects of EGF on cell proliferation correlated well with the expression levels of EGFR. High concentrations of EGF induced both EGFR expression and apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. Our study reported, for the first time, a relationship between the effects of EGF on cell proliferation and levels of EGFR expression in one cell line expressing different levels of EGFR caused by different concentrations of EGF treatment. The study should provide considerable insight into the effects of EGF on cell proliferation and tumor cell metastasis.