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Abstract

Fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) have been implicated in many developmental and regenerative events, including axial organisation, mesodermal patterning, keratinocyte organisation and brain development. The consensus view that this reflects a role for one or other of the nine known members of the fibroblast growth factor family in these processes has recently been challenged by the suggestion that FGFRs might be directly activated by a much wider range of ligands, including heparan sulphate proteoglycans and neural cell adhesion molecules. In addition, two novel soluble ligands for FGFRs have been identified using yeast two-hybrid technology. Overall, the new findings suggest that in terms of ligand binding the FGFRs might be an even more promiscuous family of receptor tyrosine kinases than was already appreciated.