Fibroblast Growth Factors their Functions
Journal of Kidney Treatment and Diagnosis consists of the latest findings related to pathogenesis and treatment of kidney disease, hypertension, acid-base and electrolyte disorders,dialysis therapies and kidney transplantation.
The fibroblast growth factors (FGF) are a family of cell signaling proteins that are involved in a wide variety of processes, most notably as crucial elements for normal development. Any irregularities in their function lead to a range of developmental defects. These growth factors generally act as systemic or locally circulating molecules of extracellular origin that activate cell surface receptors. A defining property of FGFs is that they bind to heparin and heparin sulfate,thus some of them are found to be sequestered in the extracellular matrix of tissues that contains heparin sulfate proteoglycans and they are released locally upon injury or tissue remodeling
FGFs are multifunctional proteins with a wide variety of effects; they are most commonly mitogens but also have regulatory, morphological, and endocrine effects. They have been alternately referred to as "pluripotent" growth factors and as "promiscuous" growth factors due to their multiple actions on multiple cell types. Promiscuous refers to the biochemistry and pharmacology concept of how a variety of molecules can bind to and elicit a response from single receptor. In the case of FGF, four receptor subtypes can be activated by more than twenty different FGF ligands. Thus the functions of FGFs in developmental processes include mesoderm induction, anterior-posterior patterning, limb development, neural induction and neural development, and in mature tissues/systems angiogenesis, keratinocyte organization, and wound healing processes.
FGF is critical during normal development of both vertebrates and invertebrates and any irregularities in their function leads to a range of developmental defects.
FGFs secreted by hypoblasts during avian gastrulation play a role in stimulating a Wnt signaling pathway that is involved in the differential movement of Koller's sickle cells during formation of the primitive streak. Left, angiography of the newly formed vascular network in the region of the front wall of the left ventricle. Right,analysis quantifying the angiogenic effect.
While many FGFs can be secreted by cells to act on distant targets, some FGF act locally within a tissue, and even within a cell. Human FGF2 occurs in low molecular weight (LMW) and high molecular weight (HMW) isoforms. LMW FGF2 is primarily cytoplasmic and functions in an autocrine manner, whereas HMW FGF2s are nuclear and exert activities through an intracrine mechanism.
One important function of FGF1 and FGF2 is the promotion of endothelial cell proliferation and the physical organization of endothelial cells into tube-like structures. They thus promote angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels from the pre-existing vasculature. FGF1 and FGF2 are more potent angiogenic factors than vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) or platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). FGF1 has been shown in clinical experimental studies to induce angiogenesis in the heart.
As well as stimulating blood vessel growth, FGFs are important players in wound healing. FGF1 and FGF2 stimulate angiogenesis and the proliferation of fibroblasts that give rise to granulation tissue, which fills up a wound space/cavity early in the wound-healing process. FGF7 and FGF10 (also known as keratinocyte growth factors KGF and KGF2, respectively) stimulate the repair of injured skin and mucosal tissues by stimulating the proliferation, migration and differentiation of epithelial cells, and they have direct chemotactic effects on tissue remodeling.
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Journal of Kidney Treatment and Diagnosis