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Mol Cell Biol. 2007 May;27(9):3417-28. Epub 2007 Mar 5.

Molecular insights into the klotho-dependent, endocrine mode of action of fibroblast growth factor 19 subfamily members.

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Department of Pharmacology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.


Unique among fibroblast growth factors (FGFs), FGF19, -21, and -23 act in an endocrine fashion to regulate energy, bile acid, glucose, lipid, phosphate, and vitamin D homeostasis. These FGFs require the presence of Klotho/betaKlotho in their target tissues. Here, we present the crystal structures of FGF19 alone and FGF23 in complex with sucrose octasulfate, a disaccharide chemically related to heparin. The conformation of the heparin-binding region between beta strands 10 and 12 in FGF19 and FGF23 diverges completely from the common conformation adopted by paracrine-acting FGFs. A cleft between this region and the beta1-beta2 loop, the other heparin-binding region, precludes direct interaction between heparin/heparan sulfate and backbone atoms of FGF19/23. This reduces the heparin-binding affinity of these ligands and confers endocrine function. Klotho/betaKlotho have evolved as a compensatory mechanism for the poor ability of heparin/heparan sulfate to promote binding of FGF19, -21, and -23 to their cognate receptors.

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