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Pownall ME, Isaacs HV. FGF Signalling in Vertebrate Development. San Rafael (CA): Morgan & Claypool Life Sciences; 2010.

Cover of FGF Signalling in Vertebrate Development

FGF Signalling in Vertebrate Development.

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FGF Ligands

FGF protein was first described when it was purified from bovine brain and found to be mitogenic for cultured fibroblasts (Esch et al., 1985; Gospodarowicz, 1975; Gospodarowicz et al., 1977; Gospodarowicz and Moran, 1975). We now know that FGFs are expressed widely during vertebrate development where they play many diverse and essential roles. FGF ligands are small polypeptides with a partially conserved core of 120–130 amino acids that bind heparin with high affinity. By this criteria, there are 22 FGF ligands in mammals; however, FGF11–14 do not activate FGF receptors, so perhaps these should not be considered FGF ligands (Beenken and Mohammadi, 2009). Phylogenetic analysis of human FGF ligands reveals groups of more related members and divides them into seven subfamilies (Itoh and Ornitz, 2004) (Table 1). Five of these FGF subfamilies are characterised by paracrine signalling molecules that signal by forming a tripartite complex with FGF receptors and heparan sulphate glycosaminoglycan (HS-GAG) chains. The other two groups, FGF11–14, and FGF19, 21, and 23, are different. FGF11–14 act intracellularly, while FGF19, 21 and 23 have reduced HS binding affinity and function in an endocrine manner to impact on adult homeostasis and metabolism (Beenken and Mohammadi, 2009; Ornitz, 2000). Noncanonical FGF ligands have also been reported to activate signalling through the FGF receptors; these include a number of cell adhesion molecules, such as neural cell adhesion molecule (Hall et al., 1996).

Table 1

Table 1

Phylogenetic alignment of human FGF ligands has classified the FGF ligands into seven subfamilies. The members of five of these FGF subfamilies are paracrine signaling molecules that signal by forming a tripartite complex with FGF receptors and heparan (more...)

Copyright © 2010 by Morgan & Claypool Life Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK53160

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