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Human umbilical vein endothelial (HUVE) cells have been previously reported to express the genes for the A and B chains of PDGF and to secrete PDGF-related factors into culture media. Antihuman PDGF IgG affinity chromatography was used to purify PDGF-related activity from HUVE cell-conditioned media. Immunoblot analysis of the affinity- purified proteins with anti-PDGF IgG and antibodies specific for the A or B chain peptides of PDGF combined with chemotactic and mitogenic assays revealed that the major PDGF immunorelated molecule secreted by HUVE cells is a monomer of approximately 36-38 kD and that less than 10% of the purified biologically active molecules are PDGF A or B chain peptides. Screening of an HUVE cell cDNA library in the expression vector lambda gtl 1 with the anti-PDGF antibody resulted in the cloning and sequencing of a cDNA with an open reading frame encoding a 38-kD cysteine-rich secreted protein which we show to be the major PDGF- related mitogen secreted by human vascular endothelial cells. The protein has a 45% overall homology to the translation product of the v- src-induced CEF-10 mRNA from chick embryo fibroblasts. We have termed this new mitogen connective tissue growth factor.