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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2003 Oct;14(5):533-7.

Fibroblast growth factors: key players in epithelial morphogenesis, repair and cytoprotection.

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Institute of Cell Biology, Department of Biology, ETH Zürich, Hönggerberg, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland.


Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) regulate early development and organogenesis. In particular, a subfamily of FGFs is essential for the formation and differentiation of epithelial tissues and organs. Recent studies revealed a crucial role for these FGFs in repair of the skin, intestine and liver. In addition, the cytoprotective potential of FGFs suggests their use for the protection of epithelial cells under conditions of stress in vivo. Indeed, the first successful clinical trials using FGFs for the treatment of radiation- and chemotherapy-induced mucosal epithelial damage have been announced.

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