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J Exp Med. 1992 Apr 1;175(4):1073-80.

An acidic fibroblast growth factor protein generated by alternate splicing acts like an antagonist.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco 94143.


Polymerase chain reaction amplification of cDNA for acidic fibroblast growth factor in several lines of cultured human cells revealed two forms of mRNA. The novel smaller mRNA lacks the entire second coding exon of the acidic fibroblast growth factor gene, whereas the previously identified mRNA consists of three coding exons. The truncated variant of acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF') is only 60 amino acids long with an apparent molecular mass of 6.7 kD on sodium dodecyl sulfate gels in contrast to 18 kD for the full-length acidic fibroblast growth factor. aFGF' elicits only minimal fibroblast proliferation and antagonizes the effects of acidic fibroblast growth factor when added exogenously to or when coexpressed with aFGF in BALB/c/3T3 fibroblasts. Thus, the truncated variant of acidic fibroblast growth factor may provide fibroblasts with a unique mechanism for endogenous regulation of their responses to acidic fibroblast growth factor.

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