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Prog Growth Factor Res. 1994;5(4):353-77.

Fibroblast growth factors and their receptors: an information network controlling tissue growth, morphogenesis and repair.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Liverpool, U.K.


The stimulation of cellular metabolism by the nine fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) is mediated by a dual-receptor system. This comprises a family of four receptor tyrosine kinases (FGFR) and heparan sulphate proteoglycans (HSPG). The stimulation of cell division by FGFs has an obligate requirement for both partners of the dual-receptor system. The binding of the nine FGFs to the FGFRs is marked by a pattern of overlapping specificity despite alternative splicing events generating a large number of FGFR proteins. Thus many of the FGFR isoforms bind several FGFs. It is likely that each FGF requires a different pattern of sulphation within the heparan sulphate chains for binding. Therefore, the HSPG receptors may provide additional specificity, allowing a cell to fine tune its response to the FGFs present in the extracellular milieu. The HSPG receptors also control the availability of FGFs and hence regulate the transport of FGFs within a tissue. FGF-stimulated cell division would appear to have a mandatory requirement for the FGFs to be translocated to the nucleus via the cytosol after interacting with the dual-receptor system. The consequences of the potential direct action of FGFs in stimulating cell division are examined in the light of current models of signal transduction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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