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J Biol Chem. 2012 Aug 10;287(33):27659-69. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.381939. Epub 2012 Jun 23.

Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2)-dependent oligomerization of fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) triggers the formation of a lipidic membrane pore implicated in unconventional secretion.

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  • 1Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) is a critical mitogen with a central role in specific steps of tumor-induced angiogenesis. It is known to be secreted by unconventional means bypassing the endoplasmic reticulum/Golgi-dependent secretory pathway. However, the mechanism of FGF2 membrane translocation into the extracellular space has remained elusive. Here, we show that phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate-dependent membrane recruitment causes FGF2 to oligomerize, which in turn triggers the formation of a lipidic membrane pore with a putative toroidal structure. This process is strongly up-regulated by tyrosine phosphorylation of FGF2. Our findings explain key requirements of FGF2 secretion from living cells and suggest a novel self-sustained mechanism of protein translocation across membranes with a lipidic membrane pore being a transient translocation intermediate.

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