Research Papers:

Binding of human recombinant mutant soluble ectodomain of FGFR2IIIc to c subtype of FGFRs: implications for anticancer activity

Zhong Liu, Ge Liu, Guang-Lin Zhang, Jun Li, Yan-Qing He, Shu-Shu Zhang, Yi Wang, Wei-Yi He, Guo-Hua Cheng, Xuesong Yang, Jun Xu and Ju Wang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:68473-68488. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12067

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Zhong Liu1,*, Ge Liu1,*, Guang-Lin Zhang1,*, Jun Li1, Yan-Qing He2, Shu-Shu Zhang3, Yi Wang1, Wei-Yi He1, Guo-Hua Cheng4, Xuesong Yang2, Jun Xu3, Ju Wang1

1Institute of Biomedicine, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Bioengineering Medicine, National Engineering Research Center of Genetic Medicine, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China

2Key Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine of the Ministry of Education, Division of Histology and Embryology, Medical College, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China

3Research Center for Drug Discovery, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China

4College of Pharmacy, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Ju Wang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: heterocomplex, FGF-2, soluble FGFR2, tumor inhibition, angiogenesis

Received: April 03, 2016     Accepted: August 24, 2016     Published: September 16, 2016


FGFRs are considered essential targets for cancer therapy. We previously reported that msFGFR2c, a Ser252Trp mutant soluble ectodomain of FGFR2IIIc, inhibited tumor growth by blocking FGF signaling pathway. However, the underlying molecular mechanism is still obscure. In this study, we reported that msFGFR2c but not wild-type soluble ectodomain of FGFR2IIIc (wsFGFR2c) could selectively bind to c subtype of FGFRs in the presence of FGF-2. Thermodynamic analysis demonstrated that msFGFR2c bound to wsFGFR2c in the presence of FGF-2 with a K value of 6.61 × 105 M−1. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed that the mutated residue Trp252 of msFGFR2c preferred a π-π interaction with His254 of wsFGFR2c. Concomitantly, Arg255 of msFGFR2c and Glu250 of wsFGFR2c adjusted their conformations and formed three H-bonds. These two interactions therefore stabilized the final structure of wsFGFR2c and msFGFR2c heterocomplex. In FGFR2IIIc-positive/high FGF-2-secreted BT-549 cells, msFGFR2c significantly inhibited the proliferation and induced apoptosis by the blockage of FGF-2-activated FGFRs phosphorylation, also the growth and angiogenesis of its xenograft tumors implanted in chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane model. While weaker the above inhibitory effects of msFGFR2c were observed on FGFR2IIIc-negative/low FGF-2-secreted MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, msFGFR2c significantly inhibited the proliferation of FGFR1IIIc-positive NCI-H1299 lung cancer cells by the suppression of FGF-2-induced FGFR1 activation and suppressed the growth of NCI-H1299 transplanted tumors in nude mice. In sum, msFGFR2c is a potential anti-tumor agent targeting FGFR2c/FGFR1c-positive tumor cells. These findings also provide a molecular basis for msFGFR2c to disrupt the activation of FGF signaling.

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