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J Biol Chem. 2011 Apr 15;286(15):13272-81. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.205583. Epub 2011 Feb 15.

FGFR3 heterodimerization in achondroplasia, the most common form of human dwarfism.

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA.


The G380R mutation in the transmembrane domain of fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) causes achondroplasia, the most common form of human dwarfism. Achondroplasia is a heterozygous disorder, and thus the affected individuals express both wild-type and mutant FGFR3. Yet heterodimerization in achondroplasia has not been characterized thus far. To investigate the formation of FGFR3 heterodimers in cellular membranes, we designed an FGFR3 construct that lacks the kinase domain, and we monitored the formation of inactive heterodimers between this construct and wild-type and mutant FGFR3. The formation of the inactive heterodimers depleted the pool of full-length receptors capable of forming active homodimers and ultimately reduced their phosphorylation. By analyzing the effect of the truncated FGFR3 on full-length receptor phosphorylation, we demonstrated that FGFR3 WT/G380R heterodimers form with lower probability than wild-type FGFR3 homodimers at low ligand concentration. These results further our knowledge of FGFR3-associated bone disorders.

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