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Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor

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Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor

The fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR) play essential roles both during development and in the adult.  Upon ligand binding, FGFRs induce intracellular signaling networks that tightly regulate key biological processes, such as cell proliferation, survival, migration, and differentiation. Deregulation of FGFR signaling can thus alter tissue homeostasis and has been associated with several developmental syndromes as well as with many types of cancer.

In normal tissue, basic fibroblast growth factor is present in basement membranes and in the subendothelial extracellular matrix of blood vessels. It stays membrane-bound as long as there is no signal peptide .

FGF-2 and its receptor are thought to be involved in the survival of the lymphoma cells and their resistance to therapy. The expression of FGF-2 and its receptor in lymphoma cells has a prognostic significance: patients who express FGF-2 have a significantly worse survival than those who do not, while patients expressing fibroblast growth factor receptor-1 were less likely to achieve complete remission than those lacking the receptor (Pazgal et al., 2002).

Let’s start with the second half of the name, growth factor (GF), as this is a bit more general and easier to explain. GFs are naturally occurring substances that stimulate cellular growth, division, and/or differentiation. Most of the time, GFs are proteins that are secreted from a cell and bind to receptors on other cells to bring about their effects. The term GF is sometimes used interchangeably with the term cytokine , which is a general term for a small signaling molecule. While GFs, a lot of the time, do exactly what the name implies—help cells grow and expand—certain GFs can do the exact opposite and stop cells from growing…I know, confusing, right? Now, let’s focus on Fibroblast Growth Factor, or FGF2.

FGF basic (FGF2) is produced by epithelial, tumor and other cell types (1). FGF basic is involved in developmental processes and regulates differentiation, proliferation, and migration (1-6). FGF basic is a critical factor for growing embryonic stem cells in culture without inducing differentiation. FGF basic has a high affinity for heparan sulfate (1,2) and binding is a step in the FGF basic activation of FGFR tyrosine kinase.

Fibroblast growth factors, or FGFs ,are a family of growth factors involved in angiogenesis , wound healing , and embryonic development. The FGFs are heparin-binding proteins and interactions with cell-surface-associated heparan sulfate proteoglycans have been shown to be essential for FGF signal transduction. FGFs are key players in the processes of proliferation and differentiation of wide variety of cells and tissues.

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