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Science. 1991 Jan 4;251(4989):72-5.

Expression cDNA cloning of the KGF receptor by creation of a transforming autocrine loop.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892.


An expression cloning strategy was devised to isolate the keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) receptor complementary DNA. NIH/3T3 fibroblasts, which secrete this epithelial cell-specific mitogen, were transfected with a keratinocyte expression complementary DNA library. Among several transformed foci identified, one demonstrated the acquisition of specific high-affinity KGF binding sites. The pattern of binding competition by related fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) indicated that this receptor had high affinity for acidic FGF as well as KGF. The rescued 4.2-kilobase complementary DNA was shown to encode a predicted membrane-spanning tyrosine kinase related to but distinct from the basic FGF receptor. This expression cloning approach may be generally applicable to the isolation of genes that constitute limiting steps in mitogenic signaling pathways.

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