KGF (Keratinocyte Growth Factor), also known as FGF7, is a potent mitogen for different types of epithelial
cells, which regulates migration and differentiation of these cells and protects them from various insults under stress conditions.
KGF is produced by mesenchymal cells and exerts its biological effects via binding to its high-affinity receptor, a
splice variant of FGF receptor 2 (FGFR2-IIIb), which is expressed by various types of epithelial cells, including epidermal
keratinocytes, intestinal epithelial cells, and hepatocytes. This expression pattern of KGF and its receptor suggests that
KGF acts predominantly in a paracrine manner. After acute injury, in various tissues - including the skin, the bladder as
well as in chronically injured tissue - KGF expression is strongly up-regulated. This up-regulation is likely to be important
for the healing of injured epithelia. In addition, KGF could also exert a protective effect on these cells. There are many researches
have been underway to identify clinical applications for KGF. Specifically, KGF is currently being evaluated in
clinical trials sponsored by Amgen (Thousand Oaks, CA) to test its ability to ameliorate severe oral mucositis (OM) that
results from cancer chemoradiotherapy. In this paper, we provide an overview of the knowledge on molecular properties,
biological functions and the recent findings on clinical application of KGF.