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Recombinant human/bovine/porcine TGF-β1 PLUS protein (Qk010)

Human/bovine/porcine TGF-β1 PLUS protein is the first entirely animal-free recombinant human transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) protein for highly reproducible results and compatible with chemically-defined stem cell media. TGF-β1 is used extensively in E8-style induced pluripotent (iPSC) and embryonic (ESC) stem cell media.

High purity 24 kDa dimer comprising optimised mature domain of TGFβ1 protein, animal-free (AF) and carrier-protein free (CF). Our TGF-β1 PLUS protein has been extensively tested for maintenance of iPSC pluripotency by the specialist stem cell biotechnology company, Stemnovate, Cambridge, UK.

*Benchmark our TGF-β1 PLUS against your existing supplier*

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1mg may be despatched as 2 x 500µg

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  • High purity optimised human/bovine/porcine TGF-β1 protein (Uniprot: P01137)

  • >97%, by SDS-PAGE quantitative densitometry

  • 24 kDa (dimer)

  • Expressed in E. coli

  • Animal-free (AOF) and carrier protein-free.

  • Manufactured in our Cambridge, UK laboratories

  • Lyophilized from acetonitrile, TFA

  • Resuspend in 10mM HCl at >100 µg/ml, prepare single use aliquots, add carrier protein if desired and store frozen at -20°C or -80°C

Featured applications

  • iPSC and ESC maintenance and expansion

  • Chemically defined media

Transforming growth factor-beta 1, TGF-beta 1, TGFβ1, TGFB1, TGF B1
  1. Ludwig, Tenneille E., et al. ‘Feeder-Independent Culture of Human Embryonic Stem Cells’. Nature Methods, vol. 3, no. 8, Aug. 2006, pp. 637–46.
  2. Beers, Jeanette, et al. ‘Passaging and Colony Expansion of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells by Enzyme-Free Dissociation in Chemically Defined Culture Conditions’. Nature Protocols, vol. 7, no. 11, 2012, pp. 2029–40.
  3. Wang, Linlin, et al. ‘Self-Renewal of Human Embryonic Stem Cells Requires Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 Receptor and ERBB2 Receptor Signaling’. Blood, vol. 110, no. 12, Dec. 2007, pp. 4111–19.

Human, bovine, porcine

Species similarity:

Mouse – 99%

Rat – 99%



TGF-β1 PLUS (Qk010) is highly bioactive compared to mammalian-expressed TGF-β1 preparations from other suppliers.

Comparative activity was determined using a quantitative luciferase reporter assay in transiently transfected HEK293T cells. Cells were treated (in triplicate) with a serial dilution of TGF-β1. Firefly luciferase activity is measured and normalized to control Renilla luciferase activity. Qk010 TGF-β1 PLUS lot #011 and #012 (green) both have an EC50 of 1.45 and 1.54 pM (~36 pg/mL). Suppliers 1 and 2 (black) have EC50 of 3.7 pM and 40.7 pM respectively. Data from Qk010 lot #011 and #012.


Human TGF beta 1 PLUS Qk010 protein purity SDS-PAGE lot #012

TGF-β1 PLUS (Qk010) dimer migrates as a single band at 24 kDa in non-reducing (NR) and 13 kDa as a single monomeric species upon reduction (R). High purity yield of dimeric protein (bioactive form).

Purified recombinant protein (7 μg) was resolved using 15% w/v SDS-PAGE in reduced (+β-mercaptoethanol, R) and non-reduced conditions (NR) and stained with Coomassie Brilliant Blue R250. Data from Qk010 lot #012.

Further quality assays

  • Mass spectrometry: single species with expected mass

  • Analytical reversed-phase: single sharp peak

  • Endotoxin: <0.005 EU/μg protein (below level of detection)

  • Recovery from stock vial: >95%

We are a company founded and run by scientists to provide a service and support innovation in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. All our products are exceptionally high purity, with complete characterisation and bioactivity analysis on every lot.

Protein background

Recombinant human transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) protein is an essential growth factor in many iPSC and ESC maintenance media, including the commonly used chemically-defined E8-based stem cell culture medias1, StemPro2 and mTeSR1 medias3. To date, recombinant human TGF-β1 has only been produced from mammalian cell protein expression systems (HEK or CHO), where endogenous protein contaminants, cost and animal-free status is a challenge. Our protein experts have optimized TGF-β1 allowing us to produce the first highly bioactive protein in an E. coli fully animal-free expression system.

As part of our ongoing mission to redefine industry standards for growth factor and cytokine biochemical quality, we’re delighted to introduce the first optimized, truly animal-free recombinant human TGF-β1 for our stem cell maintenance range.


  • Truly animal-free alternative for chemically-defined stem cell culture media
  • High potency in iPSC culture with high pluripotency (Nanog) marker expression
  • High purity, extensive biochemical data and exceptional batch-to-batch consistency

Additional resources

Qkine TGF-B1 technote thumbnail image
Technote: TGF-β1 PLUS
Resource: TGF-β1 PLUS

Customer & collaborator data

TGF-β1 PLUS maintains iPSC pluripotency with high Nanog expression

TGF-β1 PLUS is highly effective at maintaining iPSC pluripotency in chemically-defined, serum and feeder-free culture

Immuno-staining for pluripotency markers Tra 1-60 and Nanog show high levels of expression in iPSC lines maintained in TGF-β1 PLUS (Qk010)-containing defined media. In this study, Qkine TGF-β1 PLUS performed better than the TGF-β1 used routinely by Stemnovate.

TGF-β1 PLUS (Qk010) maintains pluripotency and good colony morphology at 1 ng/ml in a chemically-defined serum and feeder-free iPSC culture. TGF-β1 PLUS used at 1 ng/ml; Qk025 FGF2 used at 100 ng/ml.

Qk010_TGFB1_iPSC -phase-contrast-day-3_with FGF2-Qk025
TGF-β1 PLUS in combination with Qkine FGF2 shows enhanced bioactivity when benchmarked against other suppliers

Stemnovate IPS media (chemically-defined, serum and feeder-free culture). Higher Nanog pluripotency marker immuno-staining in human iPSC cultured in Qkine FGF2 (Qk025) and TGF-β1 PLUS(Qk010).TGF-β1 PLUS used at 1 ng/ml.

All experiments have been conducted by the specialist stem cell biotechnology company, Stemnovate Limited, in Cambridge, UK.

TGF beta 1 PLUS comparison

Our products are for research use only and not for diagnostic or therapeutic use.  Products are not for resale.

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  1. Question


    I have read your FAQ on protein handling. Still, resuspending proteins in low pH 10mM HCl is unusual for most proteins but apparently normal for TGF-Beta. Why is this the case for TGF-beta and would resuspending in pure water or PBS be acceptable for short-term storage? Thanks.

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    • One person found this helpful
      Mairi Shepherd

      Mairi Shepherd

      TGF-beta family proteins are very hydrophobic and consequently are poorly soluble and will adhere to plastic, we highly recommend following the handling guidance for both long- and short-term storage. We do not recommend resuspending in water or PBS as TGF-beta is insoluble in physiological buffer and the protein will precipitate. We advise storing the protein at a low pH to ensure solubility before dilution to cell culture media. A low pH will also aid the maintenance of the correct disulphide structure of the protein by minimising disulphide bond exchange reactions.

      To save you the trouble of making a 10mM HCl solution, we ship vials of reconstitution solution A (10mM HCl) with proteins for which this is our recommended reconstitution buffer. Alternatively, you can make your own 1:1000 dilution of concentrated HCl. If you have any questions or would like to arrange a call with our protein team to discuss your concerns, please email

      Upvote if this was helpful (1) Downvote if this was not helpful (0) Flag for removal

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...




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