The FGFs are a family of more than 20 small (~17–26 kDa) secreted peptides. The initial characterization of these proteins focused on their ability to stimulate fibroblast proliferation. This mitogenic activity was mediated through FGF receptors (FGFRs) 1, 2, or 3. A fourth closely related tyrosine kinase receptor (FGFR4) was able to bind the FGFs but did not lead to a mitogenic response.
FGFs modulate cellular activity via at least 5 distinct subfamilies of high-affinity FGF receptors (FGFRs): FGFR-1, -2, -3, and -4, all with intrinsic tyrosine kinase activity and, except for FGFR-4, multiple splice isoforms, and FGFR-5, which lacks an intracellular kinase domain. There is growing evidence that FGFRs can be important for regulation of glucose and lipid homeostasis. The overexpression of a dominant negative form of FGFR-1 in ? cells leads to diabetes in mice, which thus implies that proper FGF signaling is required for normal ? cell function and glycemia maintenance. FGFR-2 appears to be a key molecule during pancreatic development. Moreover, FGFR-4 has been implicated in cholesterol metabolism and bile acid synthesis.
FGF-19, has been shown to cause resistance to diet-induced obesity desensitization and to improve glucose, and lipid profiles in diabetic rodents. Since these effects, at least in part, are mediated through the observed changes in metabolic rates, FGF-19 can be considered as a regulator of energy expenditure.
FGF-21 is preferentially expressed in liver, but an exact knowledge of FGF-21 bioactivity and its mode of action have been lacking to date. FGF-21 is a potent activator of glucose uptake on adipocytes, protects animals from diet-induced obesity when overexpressed in transgenic mice, and lowers blood glucose and triglyceride levels when therapeutically administered to diabetic rodents.
The FGF-21 is purified by proprietary chromatographic techniques.
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