The N-terminal sequence of a novel sheep-derived peptide with growth inhibitory activity has been obtained. The N-terminal fragment was chemically synthesised and designated EPL001. The kidney was chosen as the first mammalian system in which to study EPL001 since kidney growth can be accurately quantified following a surgical reduction in renal mass. Cell proliferation was measured in mouse collecting duct kidney (MCDK) cells stimulated with insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I). Compensatory renal growth (CRG) was induced in Wistar rats and either EPL001 or an EPL001 antibody delivered by continuous renal tissue infusion. Mouse monoclonal antibodies to EPL001 were generated for immunoneutralisation, rabbit polyclonal antibodies were generated for immunohistochemistry. EPL001 had no apparent effect on IGF-I stimulated cell proliferation in MCDK cells in vitro, yet provoked a dose-dependent inhibition of CRG in vivo. An EPL001 antibody potentiated CRG, in the absence of exogenous EPL001, consistent with an inhibitory role in kidney growth for an endogenous peptide containing the EPL001 sequence. Tubular staining for epitopes to the EPL001 sequence was detected in normal human kidney sections and enhanced in renal cell carcinoma. Results support the presence of growth inhibitory activity in the N-terminus of a sheep-derived peptide with evidence for both its presence and endogenous activity in the kidney. Attempts to further characterise its structure and activity are ongoing.