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Nat Cell Biol. 2004 Jan;6(1):38-44. Epub 2003 Dec 14.

The transmembrane protein XFLRT3 forms a complex with FGF receptors and promotes FGF signalling.

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Division of Molecular Embryology, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) signal through high-affinity tyrosine kinase receptors to regulate a diverse range of cellular processes, including cell growth, differentiation and migration, as well as cell death. Here we identify XFLRT3, a member of a leucine-rich-repeat transmembrane protein family, as a novel modulator of FGF signalling. XFLRT3 is co-expressed with FGFs, and its expression is both induced after activation and downregulated after inhibition of FGF signalling. In gain- and loss-of function experiments, FLRT3 and FLRT2 phenocopy FGF signalling in Xenopus laevis. XFLRT3 signalling results in phosphorylation of ERK and is blocked by MAPK phosphatase 1, but not by expression of a dominant-negative phosphatidyl inositol 3-OH kinase (PI(3)K) mutant. XFLRT3 interacts with FGF receptors (FGFRs) in co-immunoprecipitation experiments in vitro and in bioluminescence resonance energy transfer assays in vivo. The results indicate that XFLRT3 is a transmembrane modulator of FGF-MAP kinase signalling in vertebrates.

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