National Center for
1IHK: Crystal Structure Of Fibroblast Growth Factor 9 (Fgf9)
Crystal structure of fibroblast growth factor 9 reveals regions implicated in dimerization and autoinhibition
J. Biol. Chem. (2001) 276 p.4322-4329
Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) constitute a large family of heparin-binding growth factors with diverse biological activities. FGF9 was originally described as glia-activating factor and is expressed in the nervous system as a potent mitogen for glia cells. Unlike most FGFs, FGF9 forms dimers in solution with a K(d) of 680 nm. To elucidate the molecular mechanism of FGF9 dimerization, the crystal structure of FGF9 was determined at 2.2 A resolution. FGF9 adopts a beta-trefoil fold similar to other FGFs. However, unlike other FGFs, the N- and C-terminal regions outside the beta-trefoil core in FGF9 are ordered and involved in the formation of a 2-fold crystallographic dimer. A significant surface area (>2000 A(2)) is buried in the dimer interface that occludes a major receptor binding site of FGF9. Thus, we propose an autoinhibitory mechanism for FGF9 that is dependent on sequences outside of the beta-trefoil core. Moreover, a model is presented providing a molecular basis for the preferential affinity of FGF9 toward FGFR3.