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FASEB J. 1995 Jul;9(10):919-25.

Molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis: fibroblast growth factor signal transduction.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Holland Laboratory, American Red Cross, Rockville, Maryland 20855, USA.


The fibroblast growth factors are a family of structurally related polypeptides that are mitogenic for a broad range of cell types as well as mediators of a wide spectrum of developmental and pathophysiological processes in vivo and in vitro. The fibroblast growth factor family presently consists of nine distinct members. Indeed, the FGF prototypes FGF-1 (acidic) and FGF-2 (basic) are well described as modifiers of angiogenesis. The absence of a signal sequence to direct their secretion and their ability to traffic to the nucleus are unique structural features that may be relevant to the regulation of their activities. The FGF receptor family consists of four transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinases. Each of these receptors give rise to multiple isoforms as a result of alternative splicing of their mRNAs. The significance of these multiple isoforms is not fully understood; however it is known that alternative splicing in the extracellular domain of these receptors results in altered ligand binding specificities. In addition, alternative splicing in the cytoplasmic domain results in isoforms with increased oncogenic potential. This review will describe recent insights into the pathways used for the regulation of FGF secretion and cellular trafficking as well as signaling by FGFRs.

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