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Int J Cancer. 1995 Aug 22;64(4):274-9.

Expression of 2 variant forms of fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 in human breast.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK.


The expression of variant mRNAs encoding isoforms of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR)1 with either 2 or 3 Ig-like loops in the extracellular domain was investigated in human breast tissues and cell lines using a polymerase chain reaction amplification method. Almost all tissues contained both forms of FGFR1, but cancers (n = 137) had a significantly lower proportion of the transcript that encoded the full 3-loop form compared with non-malignant biopsies (n = 34). This was confirmed using microdissected populations of normal and cancerous cells from frozen tissue sections. A high ratio of the 2- to 3-loop form was found to be predictive of reduced relapse-free survival. In both groups, however, the predominant form of FGFR1 was that encoding the 2-loop receptor. Cell lines derived from a variety of tissues, including breast, also co-expressed both variants of FGFR1, suggesting their presence within the same cell type. Again, there was a similar preponderance of the shorter isoform. Our results were confirmed at the protein level, where out of 5 cancers analysed 4 expressed more of the 2-loop form than the 3-loop form. Our findings suggest that cells may normally simultaneously express several splice variants of FGFR1, and aberrant expression or a change in their relative amounts (i.e., in malignancy) could contribute to modified responses to either autocrine or paracrine factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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