growth factor

any of various proteins that promote the growth, organization, and maintenance of cells and tissues. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
growth factor
any of several substances present in serum that induce growth of cells. Excessive amounts of growth factor may be associated with the production of cancer cells

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

growth factor n.
A substance that affects the growth of an organism.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
It's an enzyme activator, a cell growth factor, and a component of cell
Animal studies have already shown that a protein called nerve growth factor is
  vital to keeping cholinergic cells healthy.
The mutation affects a growth hormone receptor on their cells, so that the
  cells produce low levels of a growth factor.
In the case of brain cancer, the primary growth factor involved is epidermal
  growth factor.
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