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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1999 Jan 1;361(1):34-46.

Recombinant rat fibroblast growth factor-16: structure and biological activity.

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Amgen Inc., Amgen Center, Thousand Oaks, California, 91320, USA.


Fibroblast growth factor-16 (FGF-16) is the most recent member of the FGF family to be cloned. Since the biologic activity of rat FGF-16 (rFGF-16) was unknown, and this protein has no apparent signal sequence, we transformed its entire cDNA into Escherichia coli for high-level expression and further characterization of this novel protein. An attempt was made to purify the expressed protein from the supernatant of mechanically lysed cells using sequential cation-exchange chromatography. This resulted in a gradual loss of the protein as precipitate throughout the purification process. In addition to precipitation during purification, sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed that the partially purified materials showed a cluster of protein bands around 20k to 29k. Sequence analysis of the major bands indicated that two N-terminal truncations had occurred, during E. coli fermentation, purification, or both. The largest truncation resulted in the removal of the 34 N-terminal amino acids, including the initiation codon methionine. We cloned d34 rFGF-16, expressed the gene in E. coli, and developed a purification process for this form. Even with this truncated form, precipitation was a problem. We were largely able to overcome this problem, however, by including EDTA throughout the purification process. We have characterized the structure of purified d34 rFGF-16 extensively using circular dichroism, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and sedimentation velocity analysis. These studies revealed that the protein has a distinct tertiary structure, consists primarily of beta-strands, has a weak tendency to self-associate, and is fairly extended. We then performed biologic assays which showed that d34 rFGF-16 induces oligodendrocyte proliferation in vitro, and induces hepatocellular proliferation and increased liver weight in vivo. In summary, FGF-16, a novel FGF family member, has both unique structural and biological properties.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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