Growth-promoting activity in bovine colostrum has been detected as the capacity to stimulate protein synthesis in L6 myoblasts. By using this assay as a measure of bioactivity, a growth factor has been purified to near homogeneity from centrifuged colostrum by a series of steps including acid extraction, chromatography on sulphopropyl-Sephadex, followed by adsorption to, and elution from, C18 columns using acetonitrile and propan-1-ol gradients. The purified growth factor has a low solubility at neutral and alkaline pH and has an Mr of 7800 by gel-permeation chromatography. Sequence analysis of the first 30 amino acids from the N-terminus indicated complete identity in this region with human insulin-like growth factor-1. Accordingly we conclude that the purified growth factor is bovine insulin-like growth factor-1.

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