Research Papers:

Oncogenic driver FGFR3-TACC3 requires five coiled-coil heptads for activation and disulfide bond formation for stability

Clark G. Wang, Malalage N. Peiris, April N. Meyer, Katelyn N. Nelson and Daniel J. Donoghue _

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Oncotarget. 2023; 14:133-145. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.28359

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Clark G. Wang1,2, Malalage N. Peiris1, April N. Meyer1, Katelyn N. Nelson1 and Daniel J. Donoghue1,3

1 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

2 Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

3 Moores UCSD Cancer Center, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

Correspondence to:

Daniel J. Donoghue, email: [email protected]

Keywords: oncogenic fusion protein; chromosomal translocation; glioblastoma; FGFR3-TACC3; coiled-coil

Received: January 20, 2023     Accepted: January 30, 2023     Published: February 11, 2023

Copyright: © 2023 Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


FGFR3-TACC3 represents an oncogenic fusion protein frequently identified in glioblastoma, lung cancer, bladder cancer, oral cancer, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, gallbladder cancer, and cervical cancer. Various exon breakpoints of FGFR3-TACC3 have been identified in cancers; these were analyzed to determine the minimum contribution of TACC3 for activation of the FGFR3-TACC3 fusion protein. While TACC3 exons 11 and 12 are dispensable for activity, our results show that FGFR3-TACC3 requires exons 13-16 for biological activity. A detailed analysis of exon 13, which consists of 8 heptads forming a coiled coil, further defined the minimal region for biological activity as consisting of 5 heptads from exon 13, in addition to exons 14-16. These conclusions were supported by transformation assays of biological activity, examination of MAPK pathway activation, analysis of disulfide-bonded FGFR3-TACC3, and by examination of the Endoglycosidase H-resistant portion of FGFR3-TACC3. These results demonstrate that clinically identified FGFR3-TACC3 fusion proteins differ in their biological activity, depending upon the specific breakpoint. This study further suggests the TACC3 dimerization domain of FGFR3-TACC3 as a novel target in treating FGFR translocation driven cancers.

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