AREG is a member of the epidermal growth factor family. It is an autocrine growth factor as well as a mitogen for astrocytes, Schwann cells and fibroblasts. It is related to epidermal growth factor (EGF) and transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-alpha). The protein interacts with the EGF/TGF-alpha receptor to promote the growth of normal epithelial cells, and it inhibits the growth of certain aggressive carcinoma cell lines. It also functions in mammary gland, oocyte and bone tissue development. This gene is associated with a psoriasis-like skin phenotype, and is also associated with other pathological disorders, including various types of cancers and inflammatory conditions.