C-kit ligand, also known as stem cell factor (SCF), is the ligand of the KIT tyrosine-kinase receptor. This ligand is a pleiotropic factor that acts in utero in germ cell and neural cell development, and hematopoiesis, all believed to reflect a role in cell migration. In adults, it functions pleiotropically, while mostly noted for its continued requirement in hematopoiesis. In vitro and in vivo, SCF can stimulate the proliferation of mature, as well as the proliferation and maturation of immature, mast cells. On purified human and mouse hematopoietic precursors, SCF acts in a synergistic manner with various growth factors, such as IL-1, IL-3, IL-6, IL-7, and Epo, to induce myeloid, erythroid and lymphoid lineage colony formation. SCF is also expressed in the nervous system suggests a possible role for SCF in the development of the nervous system.
Recombinant human KIT-ligand is a single polypeptide chain containing 165 amino acids.
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