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EMBO J. 1992 Dec;11(13):4835-42.

Tight folding of acidic fibroblast growth factor prevents its translocation to the cytosol with diphtheria toxin as vector.

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Institute for Cancer Research, Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo.


A fusion protein of acidic fibroblast growth factor and diphtheria toxin A-fragment was disulfide-linked to the toxin B-fragment. The complex bound specifically to diphtheria toxin receptors, and subsequent exposure to low pH induced the fusion protein to translocate to the cytosol. Heparin, inositol hexaphosphate and inorganic sulfate strongly increased the trypsin resistance of the growth factor part of the fusion protein, indicating tight folding, and they prevented translocation of the fusion protein to the cytosol. The data indicate that only a more disordered form of the growth factor is translocation competent.

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