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Cytokine and Growth Factor Bioassays

Developing biosimilars or innovator molecules targeting cytokine or growth factor signaling? Looking to qualify cytokines used in cell therapy manufacturing processes? Promega offers a broad array of cell-based functional reporter bioassays for measuring the potency and stability of your cytokine and growth factor biologic candidates. These mechanism-of-action-based bioassays are available in a convenient thaw-and-use format that reduces hands-on assay time and delivers highly reproducible results. 

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Cytokine and Growth Factors

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An Introduction to Cytokines and Growth Factors

Cytokines and growth factors act within a complex network of proteins that bind specific receptors on their target cells and initiate signaling cascades that regulate a wide range of biological functions. While growth factors trigger cell proliferation or differentiation, cytokines can inhibit or stimulate cellular growth. Cytokines are generally small (5-20kD) and can signal in an autocrine, paracrine, or endocrine manner. Cytokines include interleukins, interferons, and chemokines and are especially important in the regulation of the immune system. 

Alteration or disruption of cytokine or growth factor homeostasis by agents that modulate binding to their cognate receptors can lead to a variety of disease states. In addition, recombinant cytokines have been employed in therapeutic settings to treat cancer, hepatitis C, and multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, antibodies blocking pro-inflammatory cytokines have been used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and plaque psoriasis. 

In order to characterize the mechanism of action of biologic drugs targeting cytokine and growth factor signaling, cell-based bioassays are frequently utilized. Such assays provide the ability to rank order candidate biologic molecules, assess potency and stability, and perform QC lot release testing.