The objective of this study was to investigate the molecular nature of the human epidermal growth factor (EGF) in serum and urine samples of normal subjects. Recombinant EGF emerged as a single peak and did not interact with human IgG1 and albumin up to the concentration of 12 mu g/ml. Freshly separated human serum contained only trace amounts of EGF. However, EGF appeared and increased in serum separated from blood after spontaneous overnight clotting. The authentic 6 kDa form of EGF made up nearly 40% of the total EGF in serum and revealed relatively homogeneous feature. The remaining immunoreactive fractions corresponded to 160 kDa proEGF. Immunoreactive EGF in blood seemed to be associated with the EGF release from platelets. TSKgel G3000SW chromatography of freshly-voided morning and day urines revealed that urine samples mainly contained two major form of EGF; a high-molecular-weight (HMW) and low-molecular-weight (LMW) forms. In the sense of molecular nature of EGF contents, morning urine was more heterogeneous than day urine of the same individuals. The LMW form of EGF in morning urine, in which its proportion was more than 90% of the total EGF, revealed further heterogeneous feature generally containing three to four different components. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.