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Development. 1992 Jan;114(1):233-43.

Two FGF receptor genes are differentially expressed in epithelial and mesenchymal tissues during limb formation and organogenesis in the mouse.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 94147.


Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) can influence the growth and differentiation of cultured cells derived from neuroectoderm, ectoderm or mesenchyme. The FGFs interact with a family of at least four closely related receptor tyrosine kinases that are products of individual genes. To investigate the role of FGFs in the growth and differentiation of embryonic tissues and to determine whether the individual FGF receptor genes might have specific functions, we compared the localization of mRNA for two FGF receptor genes, FGFR1 (the flg gene product) and FGFR2 (the bek gene product), during limb formation and organogenesis in mouse embryos (E9.5-E16.5). Although the two genes were coexpressed in some tissues, the differential expression of FGFR1 and FGFR2 in most embryonic tissues was striking. FGFR1 was expressed diffusely in mesenchyme of limb buds, somites and organ rudiments. In contrast, FGFR2 was expressed predominantly in the epithelial cells of embryonic skin and of developing organs. The differential expression of FGFR1 and FGFR2 in mesenchyme and epithelium respectively, suggests the receptor genes are independently regulated and that they mediate different functions of FGFs during development.

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