F. Gary Toback, M.D., Ph.D.


  • Chief, Department of Medicine - Section of Nephrology
  • Professor, Committee on Cell Physiology, Committee on Molecular Metabolism and Nutrition


Ph.D., Boston University, 1974
M.D., New York University, 1967


The University of Chicago
AMB S507 (MC 5100)
5841 South Maryland Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60637


Phone: (773) 702-3630

Website (Medical Center)
Website (Department of Medicine)


A Novel Growth Factor that Protects and Repairs Injured Epithelial Tissues

Research in this laboratory is focused on identifying novel cell-derived proteins that protect and/or facilitate repair of injured epithelial tissues, initially in acute kidney injury, and more recently in oral mucositis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).  We have characterized a novel 18-kD protein from the gastric antrum of seven different species, including humans that is cell protective, motogenic, mitogenic and anti-apoptotic that also increases accumulation of tight junction proteins in epithelial cells in vivo and in cell culture.  We call this molecule Antrum Mucosal Protein (AMP)-18, or gastrokine-1.  AMP peptide, a 21-mer derived from the central region of the protein, exhibits the same biological effects as native and recombinant human AMP-18.  Recently we identified the cell surface receptor for AMP-18/gastrokine-1 as the cholecystokinin-B/gastrin receptor (CCKBR), a G-protein coupled receptor.  Evidence has been accumulated to show efficacy of AMP peptide in five animal models of IBD as well as mouse and hamster models of oral mucositis induced by single-dose radiation, fractionated radiation, or radiation with cisplatin to simulate the clinical setting in patients treated head and neck cancers that frequently develop oral mucosal injury.  Ongoing studies are focused on identifying mechanisms by which AMP peptide can protect and speed healing of the injured oral mucosa following radio/chemotherapy by increasing formation of specific tight junction proteins, yet act additively with radiation or cisplatin to inhibit tumor cell growth. 

View Research Papers on PubMed