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Gene. 1999 Apr 1;230(1):69-79.

Genomic organization of the human fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) gene and comparative analysis of the human FGFR gene family.

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  • 1Center for Genomic Sciences, Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, 320 East North Avenue, 10th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, USA.


The human fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) genes play important roles in normal vertebrate development. Mutations in the human FGFR2 gene have been associated with many craniosynostotic syndromes and malformations, including Crouzon, Pfeiffer, Apert, Jackson-Weiss, Beare-Stevenson cutis gyrata, and Antley-Bixler syndromes, and Kleeblaatschadel (cloverleaf skull) deformity. The mutations identified to date are concentrated in the previously characterized region of FGFR2 that codes for the extracellular IgIII domain of the receptor protein. The search for mutations in other regions of the gene, however, has been hindered by lack of knowledge of the genomic structure. Using a combination of genomic library screening, long-range PCR, and genomic walking, we have characterized the genomic structure of nearly the entire human FGFR2 gene, including a delineation of the organization and size of all introns and exons and determination of the DNA sequences at the intron/exon boundaries. Comparative analysis of the human FGFR gene family reveals that the genomic organization of the FGFRs is relatively conserved. Moreover, alignment of the amino acid sequences shows that the four corresponding proteins share 46% identity overall, with up to 70% identity between individual pairs of FGFR proteins. However, the FGFR2 gene contains an additional exon not found in other members of the family, and it also has much larger intronic sequences throughout the gene. Remarkable similarities in genomic organization, intron/exon boundaries, and intron sizes are found between the human and mouse FGFR2 genes. Knowledge gained from this study of the human FGFR2 gene structure may prove useful in future screening studies designed to find additional mutations associated with craniosynostotic syndromes, and in understanding the molecular and cell biology of this receptor family.

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