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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Jul 23;93(15):7894-9.

Constitutive receptor activation by Crouzon syndrome mutations in fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR)2 and FGFR2/Neu chimeras.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Center for Molecular Genetics, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, 92093-0367, USA.


Crouzon syndrome is an autosomal dominant condition primarily characterized by craniosynostosis. This syndrome has been associated with a variety of amino acid point mutations in the extracellular domain of fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2). FGFR2/Neu chimeras were generated by substituting the extracellular domain of Neu with that of FGFR2 containing the following Crouzon mutations: Tyr-340-->His; Cys-342-->Tyr; Cys-342-->Arg; Cys-342-->Ser; Ser-354-->Cys: and delta17 (deletion of amino acids 345-361). Each of the mutant chimeric FGFR2/Neu constructs stimulated focus formation in NIH 3T3 cells, indicating that Crouzon mutations can stimulate signal transduction through a heterologous receptor tyrosine kinase. In vitro kinase assay results indicate that FGFR2 receptors containing Crouzon mutations have increased tyrosine kinase activity and, when analyzed under nonreducing conditions, exhibited disulfide-bonded dimers. Thus the human developmental abnormality Crouzon syndrome arises from constitutive activation of FGFR2 due to aberrant intermolecular disulfide-bonding. These results together with our earlier observation that achondroplasia results from constitutive activation of the related receptor FGFR3, leads to the prediction that other malformation syndromes attributed to FGFRs, such as Pfeiffer syndrome and Thanatophoric dysplasia, also arise from constitutive receptor activation.

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