Gene Summary

Gene:FGFR4; fibroblast growth factor receptor 4
Aliases: TKF, JTK2, CD334
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a tyrosine kinase and cell surface receptor for fibroblast growth factors. The encoded protein is involved in the regulation of several pathways, including cell proliferation, cell differentiation, cell migration, lipid metabolism, bile acid biosynthesis, vitamin D metabolism, glucose uptake, and phosphate homeostasis. This protein consists of an extracellular region, composed of three immunoglobulin-like domains, a single hydrophobic membrane-spanning segment, and a cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase domain. The extracellular portion interacts with fibroblast growth factors, setting in motion a cascade of downstream signals, ultimately influencing mitogenesis and differentiation. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2017]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:fibroblast growth factor receptor 4
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: FGFR4 (cancer-related)

Liu JB, Jian T, Yue C, et al.
Chemo-resistant Gastric Cancer Associated Gene Expression Signature: Bioinformatics Analysis Based on Gene Expression Omnibus.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(4):1689-1698 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: This study aimed to identify biomarkers for predicting the prognosis of advanced gastric cancer patients who received docetaxel, cisplatin, and S-1 (DCS).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Gene expression profiles were obtained from the Gene Expression Omnibus database (GSE31811). Gene-Ontology-enrichment and KEGG-pathway analysis were used for evaluating the biological functions of differentially-expressed genes. Protein-protein interaction (PPI) network and Kaplan-Meier survival analyses were employed to assess the prognostic values of hub genes.
RESULTS: A total of 1,486 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified, including 13 up-regulated and 1,473 down-regulated genes. KEGG pathways such as metabolic pathways, cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), PI3K-Akt signaling pathway and pathways in cancer were significantly represented. In the PPI network, the top ten hub genes ranked by degree were GNG7, PLCB1, CALML5, FGFR4, GRB2, JAK3, ADCY7, ADCY9, GNAS and KDR. Five DEGs, including ANTXR1, EFNA5, GAMT, E2F2 and NRCAM, were associated with relapse-free survival and overall survival.
CONCLUSION: ANTXR1, EFNA5, GAMT, E2F2 and NRCAM are potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets for DCS treatment in GC.

Yang X, Huang WT, Wu HY, et al.
Novel drug candidate for the treatment of several soft‑tissue sarcoma histologic subtypes: A computational method using survival‑associated gene signatures for drug repurposing.
Oncol Rep. 2019; 41(4):2241-2253 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Systemic treatment options for soft tissue sarcomas (STSs) have remained unchanged despite the need for novel drug candidates to improve STS outcomes. Drug repurposing involves the application of clinical drugs to different diseases, reducing development time, and cost. It has also become a fast and effective way to identify drug candidates. The present study used a computational method to screen three drug‑gene interaction databases for novel drug candidates for the treatment of several common STS histologic subtypes through drug repurposing. STS survival‑associated genes were generated by conducting a univariate cox regression analysis using The Cancer Genome Atlas survival data. These genes were then applied to three databases (the Connectivity Map, the Drug Gene Interaction Database and the L1000 Fireworks Display) to identify drug candidates for STS treatment. Additionally, pathway analysis and molecular docking were conducted to evaluate the molecular mechanisms of the candidate drug. Bepridil was identified as a potential candidate for several STS histologic subtype treatments by overlapping the screening results from three drug‑gene interaction databases. The pathway analysis with the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes predicted that Bepridil may target CRK, fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4), laminin subunit β1 (LAMB1), phosphoinositide‑3‑kinase regulatory subunit 2 (PIK3R2), WNT5A, cluster of differentiation 47 (CD47), elastase, neutrophil expressed (ELANE), 15‑hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (HPGD) and protein kinase cβ (PRKCB) to suppress STS development. Further molecular docking simulation suggested a relatively stable binding selectivity between Bepridil and eight proteins (CRK, FGFR4, LAMB1, PIK3R2, CD47, ELANE, HPGD, and PRKCB). In conclusion, a computational method was used to identify Bepridil as a potential candidate for the treatment of several common STS histologic subtypes. Experimental validation of these in silico results is necessary before clinical translation can occur.

Wang L, Yu T, Li W, et al.
The miR-29c-KIAA1199 axis regulates gastric cancer migration by binding with WBP11 and PTP4A3.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(17):3134-3150 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer (GC) is the second leading cause of death among patients with cancer in China. The primary reason of GC treatment failure is metastasis. Therefore, identifying metastatic biomarkers and clarifying the regulatory mechanisms involved in the GC metastatic process are important. Here, we found that KIAA1199, a cell migration-inducing protein, was significantly overexpressed in GC and correlated with lymph node metastasis and poorer patient survival. Additionally, the introduction of KIAA1199 dramatically promoted GC cell proliferation and migration in vitro and in vivo, and the inhibition of KIAA1199 suppressed GC cell growth and migration and induced GC cell apoptosis. Cell migration is a functional consequence of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In this study, we found that KIAA1199 inhibition or overexpression regulated the expression of E-cadherin and N-cadherin through KIAA1199 binding to WW domain binding protein 11 (WBP11) and protein tyrosine phosphatase type IVA, member 3 (PTP4A3) and through the subsequent activation of the FGFR4/Wnt/β-catenin and EGFR signaling pathways. More importantly, ectopic expression of WBP11 or PTP4A3 blocked the stimulatory effects of KIAA1199 on GC cell proliferation and migration. Meanwhile, we illustrated that KIAA1199 was a target gene of miR-29c-3p and that miR-29c-3p overexpression led to decreased migration of GC cells in vitro and in vivo by suppressing the expression of KIAA1199 and several key proteins in the Wnt/β-catenin and EGFR signaling pathways (e.g., WBP11, FGFR4, and PTP4A3). Taken together, these data demonstrate that KIAA1199 promotes GC metastasis by activating EMT-related signaling pathways and that miR-29c-3p regulates GC cell migration in vitro and in vivo by regulating KIAA1199 expression and activating the FGFR4/Wnt/β-catenin and EGFR signaling pathways. These findings provide a new understanding of GC development and progression and may provide novel therapeutic strategies for GC.

Gao L, Lang L, Zhao X, et al.
FGF19 amplification reveals an oncogenic dependency upon autocrine FGF19/FGFR4 signaling in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(13):2394-2404 [PubMed] Related Publications
The fibroblast growth factor 19 gene FGF19 has previously been reported to be amplified in several cancer types and encodes for a key autocrine signaler known to promote tumorigenic growth. Thus, it is imperative to understand which cancers are oncogenically addicted to FGF19 amplification as well as the role it serves in these cancer types. We report for the first time high FGF19 amplification in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC), which is associated with increased autocrine secretion of FGF19 and poor patient outcome in HNSCC. FGF19 amplification corresponded with constitutive activation of FGF receptor 4 (FGFR4)-dependent ERK/AKT-p70S6K-S6 signaling activation in HNSCC cells, and addition of human recombinant FGF19 could promote cell proliferation and soft agar colony formation in HNSCC cells with low FGF19 expression through activation of FGFR4 and downstream signaling cascades. In contrast, FGF19 knockout counteracts the observed effects in HNSCC cells carrying high endogenous FGF19, with knockout of FGF19 significantly suppressing tumor growth in an orthotopic mouse model of HNSCC. Collectively, this study demonstrates that FGF19 gene amplification corresponds with an increased dependency upon FGF19/FGFR4 autocrine signaling in HNSCC, revealing a therapeutic target for this cancer type.

Wang D, Zhang J, Li Z, et al.
Upregulation of Fibroblast Growth Factor 19 Is Associated with the Initiation of Colorectal Adenoma.
Dig Dis. 2019; 37(3):214-225 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) promotes tumor growth in various types of cancer, but its function has not been investigated in the context of colorectal adenoma. Here, we report that FGF19 expression was greater in colorectal adenoma than in normal tissues, as measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, quantitative reverse-transcription PCR and immunohistochemistry. FGF19 expression was also elevated in a subset of human colon cancer cell lines. Moreover, FGF receptor 4 (FGFR4), the cognate receptor for FGF19, was upregulated in colorectal adenoma tissues. Lipid levels and body mass index values strongly correlated with FGF19 and FGFR4 levels in patients with colon adenomas. These observations indicate that the FGF19/FGFR4 pathway may be involved in the development of neoplasia, and that FGF19 may be a valuable diagnostic marker for the identification of patients with colorectal adenomas.

Chen L, Qi H, Zhang L, et al.
Effects of FGFR gene polymorphisms on response and toxicity of cyclophosphamide-epirubicin-docetaxel-based chemotherapy in breast cancer patients.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):1038 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The chemotherapy resistance and toxicity of chemotherapy are major problems in breast cancer treatment. However, candidate biomarkers for predicting clinical outcomes and better prognosis remain lacking.
METHODS: In this study, we analyzed possible impact of 8 genetic variants of fibroblast growth factor receptor1-4 (FGFR1-4) on the treatment response and toxicities in 211 breast cancer patients. DNA was extracted from peripheral blood cells, and the genotypes were examined using the TaqMan Pre-Designed SNP Genotyping Assays.
RESULTS: The FGFR4 rs1966265 and FGFR2 rs2981578 contributed to clinical outcome of breast cancer treated with docetaxel-epirubicin-cyclophosphamide (CET)-based chemotherapy. For rs1966265, AA genotype had significant correlation with the clinical response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NCT) when compared with GG and AG/GG genotype (P = 0.019 and P = 0.004, respectively). Moreover, A allele of FGFR2 rs2981578 had significant rates of response (P = 0.025). In addition, rs2420946 CC genotype was associated with higher frequency of toxicities compared with TT and CT/TT genotypes (P = 0.038 and P = 0.019, respectively). Also, rs2981578 AG genotype showed higher frequency of toxicities compared with GG genotype (P < 0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest these polymorphisms, especially rs1966265 and rs2981578, might be candidate pharmacogenomics factors to the response and prognosis prediction for individualized CET-based chemotherapy in breast cancer patients.

Xin Z, Song X, Jiang B, et al.
Blocking FGFR4 exerts distinct anti-tumorigenic effects in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Thorac Cancer. 2018; 9(12):1687-1698 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The FGFR family can be activated by FGFs and plays important roles in regulating cell growth, differentiation, migration, and angiogenesis. Recent studies have suggested that FGFR4 could regulate several processes, including tumor progression. Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a malignancy with high global occurrence. However, the molecule mechanism and the potential roles of FGFR4 in ESCC remain unknown.
METHODS: Immunohistochemistry and Western blotting were used to detect FGFR4 expression in ESCC samples and cell lines. Cell counting kit-8, and clonogenic, transwell, flow cytometric, and tumor xenograft in nude mice assays were utilized to determine the effect of blocking FGFR4 in proliferation, invasion, migration, and apoptosis of ESCC cells.
RESULTS: FGFR4 is frequently overexpressed in ESCC tissue and cell lines. in vitro assays have shown that blocking FGFR4 by a specific blocker, H3B-6527, significantly decreases proliferation, invasion, and migration, and alters epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers in ESCC cells. In addition, FGFR4 blockade is associated with the induction of apoptosis and affects PI3K/Akt and MAPK/ERK pathways. Moreover, FGFR4 blockade could significantly inhibit the growth of xenograft tumors in vivo.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that blocking FGFR4 significantly suppresses the malignant behaviors of ESCC and indicate that FGFR4 is a potential target for the treatment of ESCC.

Zhao X, Xu F, Dominguez NP, et al.
FGFR4 provides the conduit to facilitate FGF19 signaling in breast cancer progression.
Mol Carcinog. 2018; 57(11):1616-1625 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although genetic amplification and overexpression of the fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) gene are found in human breast cancer, mechanisms that contribute to such functional alterations remain elusive. We report here that high expression of FGF19 is associated with the aggressive malignant behavior and poor survival outcome of breast cancer patients. FGF19 is particularly highly expressed in luminal molecular subtype of breast tumors and its expression levels are positively associated with its secretion levels from breast cancer cells. Genetic knockout of FGF19 significantly induces repression of breast tumor progression and metastasis in either an orthotopic mouse model of breast cancer or an experimental metastasis model. The FGF19 specific receptor, FGFR4, can be activated and subsequently upregulate AKT signaling in breast cancer cell upon FGF19, which is critical for oncogenic role of FGF19. Inactivation of FGFR4 by its inhibitor BLU9931 significantly attenuates FGF19-induced tumor-promoting activity, suggesting interruption of FGFR4 function is sufficient to affect FGF19-driven breast cancer. Overall, these insights support the idea that targeting FGFR4 in breast cancer cells overexpressing FGF19 may represent an effective strategy to suppress cancer development, progression, and metastasis.

Liu J, Zhang Z, Li X, et al.
Forkhead box C1 promotes colorectal cancer metastasis through transactivating ITGA7 and FGFR4 expression.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(41):5477-5491 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common causes of cancer death worldwide; however, the molecular mechanism underlying CRC metastasis remains unknown. Using an integrated approach, we identified forkhead box C1 (FOXC1) as a novel regulator of CRC metastasis. Elevated expression of FOXC1 is significantly correlated with metastasis, recurrence and reduced survival. FOXC1 overexpression promotes CRC invasion and lung metastasis, whereas FOXC1 knockdown has the opposite effect. In addition, FOXC1 directly binds its target genes integrin α7 (ITGA7) and fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) and activates their expression. Genetic epistasis analysis confirmed that ITGA7 and FGFR4 act downstream of FOXC1. Furthermore, pharmaceutical inhibition of FGFR4 can reverse CRC metastasis mediated by FOXC1 overexpression. These results suggest that FOXC1 is a prognostic biomarker in CRC patients and targeting the FGFR4 signaling pathway may provide a promising strategy for the treatment of FOXC1-driven CRC metastasis.

Xu M, Chen S, Yang W, et al.
FGFR4 Links Glucose Metabolism and Chemotherapy Resistance in Breast Cancer.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 47(1):151-160 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Poor response to chemotherapy leads to the relapse and metastatic progression of tumors. Reprogrammed glucose metabolism is one of the important hallmarks of cancer that facilitates cancer cell survival, proliferation and chemoresistance. However, the precise fate of glucose metabolism and its role in therapy responsiveness in cancers remains largely unexplored.
METHODS: The glycolytic phenotype of doxorubicin (ADR)-resistant breast cancer cells and their parental cells was assessed by measuring glucose uptake, lactate release, and extracellular acidification rate (ECAR). Protein expression was detected by Western blotting analysis and mRNA expression was detected using q-PCR. Cell survival ratio was determined by the cell counting kit 8 assay. The role of fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) in glycolysis, chemoresistance, and the underlying mechanisms were studied by using gene expression microarray and short hairpin RNA-mediated gene knockdown.
RESULTS: We found that glycolytic flux are increased in two doxorubicin (ADR)-resistant breast cancer cell lines compared with their parental wild type cells, as demonstrated by increased glucose uptake, lactate release, and extracellular acidification rate (ECAR). By gene expression microarray, we identified FGFR4 as a critical modulator of ADR resistance and enhanced glucose metabolism. Genetic silencing of FGFR4 increased the chemosensitivity and suppressed the enhanced glycolytic flux in ADR-resistant cells. Mechanistically, activation of FGFR4 signaling in ADR-resistant cells led to the phosphorylation of FGF receptor substrate 2 (FRS2) and further activated the downstream MAPK/ERK signaling. Pharmacological inhibition of FGFR4-FRS2-ERK signaling pathway significantly blocked the chemoresistant and glycolytic phenotypes of ADR-resistant cells.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that high levels of FGFR4 can increase glucose metabolism and lead to chemoresistance in breast cancer and reveal the mechanistic basis for targeting FGFR4 as a therapeutic opportunity for chemoresistant tumors.

Yu T, Wang LN, Li W, et al.
Downregulation of miR-491-5p promotes gastric cancer metastasis by regulating SNAIL and FGFR4.
Cancer Sci. 2018; 109(5):1393-1403 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gastric cancer (GC) is among the most fatal cancers in China. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are versatile regulators during GC development and progression. miR-491-5p has been demonstrated to act as a tumor suppressor in several types of cancer. However, the role of miR-491-5p in GC metastasis remains unknown. Here, we found that miR-491-5p was significantly decreased in GC tissues compared with adjacent non-cancerous tissues, and low miR-491-5p level was associated with large tumor size. Overexpression of miR-491-5p significantly suppressed GC cell epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and tumor metastasis in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, SNAIL was identified as a direct target of miR-491-5p. The silencing of SNAIL phenocopied the tumor suppressive function of miR-491-5p, whereas re-expression of SNAIL in GC cells rescued the EMT markers and cell migratory ability that were inhibited by miR-491-5p. In addition, miR-491-5p inhibited FGFR4 indirectly. Inhibition of FGFR4 also decreased the SNAIL level and impaired EMT and cell migration. Taken together, these findings indicate that downregulation of miR-491-5p promoted GC metastasis by inducing EMT via regulation of SNAIL and FGFR4.

Ferrari SM, Bocci G, Di Desidero T, et al.
Lenvatinib exhibits antineoplastic activity in anaplastic thyroid cancer in vitro and in vivo.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(5):2225-2234 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lenvatinib is an oral, multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) of VEGFR1-VEGFR3, FGFR1-FGFR4, PDGFRα, RET and v-kit Hardy-Zuckerman 4 feline sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KIT) signaling networks involved in tumor angiogenesis. We have evaluated the antitumor activity of lenvatinib in primary anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) cells, in the human cell line 8305C (undifferentiated thyroid cancer) and in an ATC-cell line (AF). The AF cell line was obtained from the primary ATC cultures and was the one that grew over 50 passages. The effect of lenvatinib (1 and 100 nM; and 1, 10, 25 and 50 µM) was investigated in primary ATC, 8305C and AF cells as well as in AF cells in CD nu/nu mice. Lenvatinib significantly reduced ATC cell proliferation (P<0.01, ANOVA) and increased the percentage of apoptotic ATC cells (P<0.001, ANOVA). Furthermore, lenvatinib inhibited migration (P<0.01) and invasion (P<0.001) in ATC. In addition, lenvatinib inhibited EGFR, AKT and ERK1/2 phosphorylation and downregulated cyclin D1 in the ATC cells. Lenvatinib also significantly inhibited 8305C and AF cell proliferation, increasing apoptosis. AF cells were subcutaneously injected into CD nu/nu mice and tumor masses were observed 20 days later. Tumor growth was significantly inhibited by lenvatinib (25 mg/kg/day), as well as the expression of VEGF-A and microvessel density in the AF tumor tissues. In conclusion, the antitumor and antiangiogenic activities of lenvatinib may be promising for the treatment of anaplastic thyroid cancer, and may consist a basis for future clinical therapeutic applications.

Huang J, Qiu M, Wan L, et al.
TGF-β1 Promotes Hepatocellular Carcinoma Invasion and Metastasis via ERK Pathway-Mediated FGFR4 Expression.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 45(4):1690-1699 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: TGF-β1 is beneficial during early liver disease but is tumor-progressive during late stages especially for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Thus, exploring the underlying mechanisms may provide information about a potentially therapeutic role of TGF-β1 in HCC.
METHODS: Western blot and real-time quantitative PCR were used to quantify FGFR4 expression in HCC cell lines and a normal liver cell line. After constructing the best silencing FGFR4 expression vector, migration and invasiveness of TGF-β1 in HCC was studied in vitro and in vivo. Western blot was used to study the mechanism of TGF-β1 induction on FGFR4 expression with various inhibitors.
RESULTS: HepG2 cell lines had the most FGFR4 expression, and data show that silencing FGFR4 suppressed cell proliferation, invasion and migration in HCC induced by TGF-β1 in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, TGF-β1 induced FGFR4 expression through the ERK pathway.
CONCLUSION: Promoting FGFR4 expression via the ERK pathway, TGF-β1 contributes to HCC invasion and metastasis.

Quintanal-Villalonga Á, Ojeda-Márquez L, Marrugal Á, et al.
The FGFR4-388arg Variant Promotes Lung Cancer Progression by N-Cadherin Induction.
Sci Rep. 2018; 8(1):2394 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The FGFR4-388Arg variant has been related to poor prognosis in several types of cancer, including lung cancer. The mechanism underlying this association has not been addressed in detail in patients with this pathology. Here, we report that this FGFR4 variant induces MAPK and STAT3 activation and causes pro-oncogenic effects in NSCLC in vitro and in vivo. This variant induces the expression of EMT-related genes, such as N-cadherin, vimentin, Snail1 and Twist1. Indeed, the induction of N-cadherin protein expression by this variant is essential for its pro-tumorigenic role. The presence of the FGFR4-388Arg variant correlates with higher N-cadherin expression levels in clinical NSCLC samples and with poorer outcome in patients with FGFR expression. These results support the prognostic role of this FGFR variant in lung cancer and show that these effects may be mediated by the induction of N-cadherin expression and an EMT phenotype.

Jiang D, Li J, Li J, et al.
Combination of FGFR4 inhibitor Blu9931 and 5-fluorouracil effects on the biological characteristics of colorectal cancer cells.
Int J Oncol. 2017; 51(5):1611-1620 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to explore the effects of single agent treatments and combination of Blu9931 and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) on the biological characteristics of colorectal cancer cells and its mechanism. Blu9931 is the first selective small molecule inhibitor of the fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) and exquisitely selective for FGFR4 versus other FGFR family members and all other kinases. The colorectal cancer cells HCT116 and SW620 with high expression of FGFR4 were selected for a series of functional tests including cell viability, cell proliferation, apoptosis and cell cycle detection. Western blotting was used to detect the expression of related molecules including signal pathway (STAT3), apoptosis (cleaved caspase‑3), cell cycle (cyclin D1 and P27kip1) and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (E-cadherin and vimentin) in HCT116 and SW620 cells used as single and combination treatments of 5‑FU and Blu9931. The cell viability gradually decreased when the concentration of 5‑FU and Blu9931 increased. Blu9931 can inhibit FGFR4 protein expression while 5‑FU cannot, as assessed by western blot analysis. The single agent treatment and combinations of 5‑FU and Blu9931 arrest cell cycle (P<0.05), increased p27kip1 expression and reduced cyclin D1 expression. The single agent treatment and combinations of 5‑FU and Blu9931 inhibited EMT. Furthermore, the combination of 5‑FU and Blu9931 has a synergistic effect in reducing colorectal cancer cell proliferation and preventing cell cycle. Taken together, this study provides the first evidence that Blu9931 functions as a FGFR4-selective inhibitor in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells, and Blu9931 may be a new targeted drug.

Gao L, Shay C, Lv F, et al.
Implications of FGF19 on sorafenib-mediated nitric oxide production in hepatocellular carcinoma cells - a short report.
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2018; 41(1):85-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a primary neoplasm derived from hepatocytes, is the second leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Previous work has shown that fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19), an oncogenic driver, acts as a negative regulator of the therapeutic efficacy of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor sorafenib in HCC cells. The FGF19-mediated mechanism affecting sorafenib treatment, however, still remains to be resolved. Here, we hypothesize that the FGF19-FGFR4 axis may affect the effectiveness of sorafenib in the treatment of HCC.
METHODS: FGF19 and FGFR4 cDNAs were cloned into a pcDNA3.1 vector and subsequently used for exogenous over-expression analyses. FGF19 knockdown cells were generated using a lentiviral-mediated short hairpin RNA (shRNA) methodology and FGFR4 knockout cells were generated using a CRISPR-Cas9 methodology. FGFR4 activation in HCC cells was inhibited by BLU9931. The effects of exogenous gene over-expression, expression knockdown and knockout, as well as drug efficacies in HCC cells, were validated using Western blotting. HCC cell proliferation was assessed using a CellTiter 96
RESULTS: We found that FGF19, when exogenously overexpressed, results in a reduced sorafenib-induced NO generation and a decreased proliferation of HCC cells. In contrast, we found that either FGF19 silencing or knockout of its receptor FGFR4 sensitized HCC cells to sorafenib through the induction of NO generation. Concordantly, we found that inactivation of FGFR4 by BLU9931 enhanced the sensitivity of HCC cells to sorafenib.
CONCLUSION: From our data we conclude that the FGF19-FGFR4 axis may play a critical role in the effects elicited by sorafenib in HCC cells. Blocking the FGF19-FGFR4 axis may provide novel opportunities to improve the efficacy of sorafenib in the treatment of patients with HCC.

Teng Y, Zhao H, Gao L, et al.
FGF19 Protects Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells against Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress via Activation of FGFR4-GSK3β-Nrf2 Signaling.
Cancer Res. 2017; 77(22):6215-6225 [PubMed] Related Publications
The tumor microenvironment induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in tumor cells, an event that can promote progression, but it is unknown how tumor cells adapt to this stress. In this study, we show that the fibroblast growth factor FGF19, a gene frequently amplified in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), facilitates a survival response to ER stress. Levels of FGF19 expression were increased in stressed HCC cells in culture and in a mouse xenograft model. Induction of ER stress required the transcription factor ATF4, which directly bound the FGF19 promoter. In cells where ER stress was induced, FGF19 overexpression promoted HCC cell survival and increased resistance to apoptosis, whereas FGF19 silencing counteracted these effects. Mechanistic investigations implicated glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β) in regulating nuclear accumulation of the stress-regulated transcription factor Nrf2 activated by FGF19. Our findings show how FGF19 provides a cytoprotective role against ER stress by activating a FGFR4-GSK3β-Nrf2 signaling cascade, with implications for targeting this signaling node as a candidate therapeutic regimen for HCC management.

Wang J, Liu Q, Yuan S, et al.
Genetic predisposition to lung cancer: comprehensive literature integration, meta-analysis, and multiple evidence assessment of candidate-gene association studies.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):8371 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
More than 1000 candidate-gene association studies on genetic susceptibility to lung cancer have been published over the last two decades but with few consensuses for the likely culprits. We conducted a comprehensive review, meta-analysis and evidence strength evaluation of published candidate-gene association studies in lung cancer up to November 1, 2015. The epidemiological credibility of cumulative evidence was assessed using the Venice criteria. A total of 1018 publications with 2910 genetic variants in 754 different genes or chromosomal loci were eligible for inclusion. Main meta-analyses were performed on 246 variants in 138 different genes. Twenty-two variants from 21 genes (APEX1 rs1130409 and rs1760944, ATM rs664677, AXIN2 rs2240308, CHRNA3 rs6495309, CHRNA5 rs16969968, CLPTM1L rs402710, CXCR2 rs1126579, CYP1A1 rs4646903, CYP2E1 rs6413432, ERCC1 rs11615, ERCC2 rs13181, FGFR4 rs351855, HYKK rs931794, MIR146A rs2910164, MIR196A2 rs11614913, OGG1 rs1052133, PON1 rs662, REV3L rs462779, SOD2 rs4880, TERT rs2736098, and TP53 rs1042522) showed significant associations with lung cancer susceptibility with strong cumulative epidemiological evidence. No significant associations with lung cancer risk were found for other 150 variants in 98 genes; however, seven variants demonstrated strong cumulative evidence. Our findings provided the most updated summary of genetic risk effects on lung cancer and would help inform future research direction.

Sun Y, Fan X, Zhang Q, et al.
Cancer-associated fibroblasts secrete FGF-1 to promote ovarian proliferation, migration, and invasion through the activation of FGF-1/FGFR4 signaling.
Tumour Biol. 2017; 39(7):1010428317712592 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy, due to its high propensity for metastasis. Cancer-associated fibroblasts, as the dominant component of tumor microenvironment, are crucial for tumor progression. However, the mechanisms underlying the regulation of ovarian cancer cells by cancer-associated fibroblasts remain little known. Here, we first isolated cancer-associated fibroblasts from patients' ovarian tissues and found that cancer-associated fibroblasts promoted SKOV3 cells' proliferation, migration, and invasion. Fibroblast growth factor-1 was identified as a highly increased factor in cancer-associated fibroblasts compared with normal fibroblasts by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (~4.6-fold, p < 0.01) and ELISA assays (~4-fold, p < 0.01). High expression of fibroblast growth factor-1 in cancer-associated fibroblasts either naturally or through gene recombination led to phosphorylation of fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 in SKOV3 cells, which is followed by the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase pathway and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition-associated gene Snail1 and MMP3 expression. Moreover, treatment of SKOV3 cell with fibroblast growth factor receptor inhibitor PD173074 terminated cellular proliferation, migration, and invasion, reduced the phosphorylation level of fibroblast growth factor receptor 4, and suppressed the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase pathway. In addition, the expression level of Snail1 and MMP3 was reduced, while the expression level of E-cadherin increased. These observations suggest a crucial role for cancer-associated fibroblasts and fibroblast growth factor-1/fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 signaling in the progression of ovarian cancer. Therefore, this fibroblast growth factor-1/fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 axis may become a potential target for the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Quintanal-Villalonga Á, Carranza-Carranza A, Meléndez R, et al.
Prognostic Role of the FGFR4-388Arg Variant in Lung Squamous-Cell Carcinoma Patients With Lymph Node Involvement.
Clin Lung Cancer. 2017; 18(6):667-674.e1 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The identification of prognostic biomarkers for lung squamous-cell carcinoma (SCC) pathology is crucial because of its poor prognosis. A variant of the FGFR4 (fibroblast growth factor receptor 4) gene, FGFR4-388Arg, has been associated with prognosis and is linked to oncogenesis in vitro in several types of cancer. We analyzed the association of this variant with prognosis and downstream signaling alteration in lung SCC patients.
METHODS: The presence of the FGFR4-388Arg variant was determined in 114 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded lung SCC tissue samples by DNA genotyping and was correlated with clinicopathologic data. The activation of the protein kinase B (AKT) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways was determined by immunohistochemistry, and its association with the presence of FGFR4-388Arg was analyzed.
RESULTS: We found that tumor differentiation status and adjuvant chemotherapy administration could be independent prognostic factors for overall survival (OS) in lymph node-affected patients, as expected. The progression-free survival and OS of patients with lymph node involvement (n = 41) and the FGFR4-388Arg genotype were significantly lower than those of patients lacking this variant (P = .035 and P = .042, respectively). Importantly, multivariate analysis supported the independent prognostic role of the FGFR4-388Arg genotype in OS (P = .025). Regarding downstream signaling, the FGFR4-388Arg genotype was not correlated with altered AKT signaling but was associated with increased MAPK activation in the SCC tumor samples (P = .017).
CONCLUSION: The FGFR4-388Arg variant may represent a promising prognostic biomarker in SCC patients with lymph node involvement. For these patients, FGFR4 may be a potential therapeutic target.

Hectors SJ, Wagner M, Bane O, et al.
Quantification of hepatocellular carcinoma heterogeneity with multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):2452 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumour heterogeneity poses a significant challenge for treatment stratification. The goals of this study were to quantify heterogeneity in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) using multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI), and to report preliminary data correlating quantitative MRI parameters with advanced histopathology and gene expression in a patient subset. Thirty-two HCC patients with 39 HCC lesions underwent mpMRI including diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD), tissue-oxygenation-level-dependent (TOLD) and dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE)-MRI. Histogram characteristics [central tendency (mean, median) and heterogeneity (standard deviation, kurtosis, skewness) MRI parameters] in HCC and liver parenchyma were compared using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Histogram data was correlated between MRI methods in all patients and with histopathology and gene expression in 14 patients. HCCs exhibited significantly higher intra-tissue heterogeneity vs. liver with all MRI methods (P < 0.030). Although central tendency parameters showed significant correlations between MRI methods and with each of histopathology and gene expression, heterogeneity parameters exhibited additional complementary correlations between BOLD and DCE-MRI and with histopathologic hypoxia marker HIF1α and gene expression of Wnt target GLUL, pharmacological target FGFR4, stemness markers EPCAM and KRT19 and immune checkpoint PDCD1. Histogram analysis combining central tendency and heterogeneity mpMRI features is promising for non-invasive HCC characterization on the imaging, histologic and genomics levels.

Xiong SW, Ma J, Feng F, et al.
Functional FGFR4 Gly388Arg polymorphism contributes to cancer susceptibility: Evidence from meta-analysis.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(15):25300-25309 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) is a member of receptor tyrosine kinase family. A functional Gly388Arg (rs351855 G>A) polymorphism in FGFR4 gene causes a glycine-to-arginine change at codon 388 within the transmembrane domain of the receptor. Although the FGFR4 rs351855 G>A polymorphism has been implicated in cancer development, its association with cancer risk remains controversial. Here, we have systematically analyzed the association between the rs351855 G>A polymorphism and cancer risk by performing a meta-analysis of 27 studies consisting of 8,682 cases and 9,731 controls. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to measure the strength of the association. The rs351855 G>A polymorphism was associated with an increased cancer risk under the recessive model (OR=1.19, 95% CI=1.01-1.41). Stratified analysis by cancer type indicated the rs351855 G>A polymorphism was associated with an increased risk of breast and prostate cancer, but a decreased risk of lung cancer. This meta-analysis demonstrates the FGFR rs351855 G>A polymorphism is associated with increased cancer risk and suggests it could potentially serve as a chemotherapeutic target or biomarker to screen high-risk individuals.

Yoo C, Kang J, Kim D, et al.
Multiplexed gene expression profiling identifies the FGFR4 pathway as a novel biomarker in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(24):38592-38601 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) pathway is an essential regulatory component of bile acid synthesis, and its relationship with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been reported. We investigated the gene expression and clinical significance of FGFR4 and related pathways in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA).
RESULTS: The median age was 56 years (range 30-78) and 34 patients (74%) were male. Six patients (13%) had hepatitis B virus infection, with or without liver cirrhosis. Overall survival was significantly associated with FGFR4 (p = 0.004), FGF19 (p = 0.047), FGF21 (p = 0.04), and KLB (p = 0.03) expression. In the multivariate analysis with potential prognostic factors, high expression of FGF19, FGF21, and FGFR4 was significantly associated with better survival. In the analysis using the TCGA iCCA dataset, mRNA overexpression of at least 1 of the FGFR4-related genes was significantly associated with better disease-free survival (p = 0.02).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We assessed the expression of 98 genes in formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tumor tissue specimens from 46 patients with surgically resected iCCA using a NanoString platform. This included 10 FGF pathway genes (e.g. FGFR1-4, KLB, FGF3, 4, 19, 21, and 23), 19 distal marker genes (e.g. CYP7A1 and CYP17A1), 31 genes relevant to HCC and iCCA (e.g. AFP, TS), 18 copy number variation matched genes, and 20 control genes. Log-transformation of gene expression was performed for normalization and statistical analysis. Overall survival was correlated with gene expression (< median vs. ≥ median) using a log-rank test. The prognostic impact of FGFR4-related genes was validated using the public TCGA dataset for iCCA.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that mRNA expression of FGFR4-related genes may be a biomarker to define the distinctive molecular phenotype of iCCA. Future preclinical and clinical validation is required to define the role of the FGFR4 pathway in iCCA.

Chen TH, Yang SF, Liu YF, et al.
Association of Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 4 Genetic Polymorphisms With the Development of Uterine Cervical Cancer and Patient Prognosis.
Reprod Sci. 2018; 25(1):86-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
This is the first study to investigate the relationships among fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) genetic polymorphisms, development of uterine cervical cancer, clinicopathological variables, and patient prognosis in Taiwanese women. Real-time polymerase chain reaction and genotyping were used to detect the genotype frequencies of 4 FGFR4 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs351855 (C/T, Gly388Arg), rs2011077 (G/A), rs7708357 (G/A), and rs1966265 (Ile10Val), in 138 patients with invasive cancer, 89 with precancerous lesions of uterine cervix, and 335 normal controls. The results showed that there is no significant difference in the frequencies of FGFR4 SNPs rs351855, rs2011077, rs7708357, and 1966265 between women with cervical invasive cancer and normal controls even after controlling for age. However, significant differences existed in the distributions of the FGFR4 genetic polymorphism rs2011077, when mutant homozygotes (AA) were compared using other genotypes (GG/GA) as a reference, as well as rs1966265, when mutant homozygotes (AA) were compared using GG/GA as a reference, between women with cervical precancerous lesions and normal women even after controlling for age. In multivariate analysis, lymph node metastasis was associated with cancer recurrence, and lymph node metastasis and FGFR4 rs351855 were associated with patient survival. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that FGFR4 rs2011077 and rs1966265 are associated with the progression of cervical normal tissues to precancerous lesions in Taiwanese women. Moreover, rs351855 (Gly388Arg) is the only FGFR4 genetic polymorphism that is associated with patient survival.

El Demellawy D, McGowan-Jordan J, de Nanassy J, et al.
Update on molecular findings in rhabdomyosarcoma.
Pathology. 2017; 49(3):238-246 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common malignant soft tissue tumour in children and adolescents. Histologically RMS resembles developing fetal striated skeletal muscle. RMS is stratified into different histological subtypes which appear to influence management plans and patient outcome. Importantly, molecular classification of RMS seems to more accurately capture the true biology and clinical course and prognosis of RMS to guide therapeutic decisions. The identification of PAX-FOXO1 fusion status in RMS is one of the most important updates in the risk stratification of RMS. There are several genes close to PAX that are frequently altered including the RAS family, FGFR4, PIK3CA, CTNNB1, FBXW7, and BCOR. As with most paediatric blue round cell tumours and sarcomas, chemotherapy is the key regimen for RMS therapy. Currently there are no direct inhibitors against PAX-FOXO1 fusion oncoproteins and targeting epigenetic cofactors is limited to clinical trials. Failure of therapy in RMS is usually related to drug resistance and metastatic disease. Through this review we have highlighted most of the molecular aspects in RMS and have attempted to correlate with RMS classification, treatment and prognosis.

Giannetta E, Isidori AM, Durante C, et al.
Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma and foscarnet use in a multitarget treatment documented by 18F-FDG PET/CT: A case report.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2017; 96(6):e5621 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RATIONALE: The case reported the rapid remission of disease recurrence achieved adding foscarnet, a DNA polymerase inhibitor that interacts with fibroblast growth factor 2, to low molecular weight heparin and sunitinib for the first time in a patient with an anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC).
PATIENT CONCERNS: A 65-year-old woman with a multinodular goiter referred for a rapid enlargement of a nodule. Histological examination revealed an ATC with a little area of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). The patient was resistant to selective single-target treatment.
DIAGNOSES: Immunophenotyping and gene analyses found a significant increase in FGF2 and FGFR1 expression in the primary ATC area (FGF2 = 38.2 ± 6.2% in ATC vs 34.6 ± 6.0% in the differentiated area of PTC, P < 0.05; FGFR1: 41.7 ± 6.0% in ATC vs 34.4 ± 4.2% in PTC, P < 0.001) and in metastatic neck lymph nodes (P < 0.001 vs normal control tissues). Unlike conventional imaging, F-FDG PET/CT with PERCIST 1.0 criteria promptly and quantitatively detected disease recurrence and remission before and after multitarget therapy, combining anatomic, metabolic, and functional data.
INTERVENTIONS: Foscarnet was administered given the positivity for FGF2, FGFR1 and FGFR4 in ATC. Low molecular wight heparin and Sunitinib were coadministere to limiti metastatic progression and on neck tumor masse, respectively.
OUTCOMES: The rationale for the clinical response to this innovative multitarget association with foscarnet is based on the histological and genetic finding that fibroblast growth factors and their receptor super-family are up-regulated in the primary anaplastic thyroid tumor and in the metastatic lymph node of our patient.
LESSONS: We propose that fibroblast growth factors and their receptor super-family play a key role as potential therapeutic targets in anaplastic thyroid cancer and the positive relevance of this suggestion for patient care, especially for an individualized management.

Gao L, Wang X, Tang Y, et al.
FGF19/FGFR4 signaling contributes to the resistance of hepatocellular carcinoma to sorafenib.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2017; 36(1):8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Sorafenib, a multi-kinase inhibitor, is used as a standard therapy for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, complete remission has not been achieved and the molecular basis of HCC resistance to sorafenib remains largely unknown. Previous studies have shown that fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) expression correlates with tumor progression and poor prognosis of HCC. Here, we demonstrate the novel role of FGF19 in HCC resistance to sorafenib therapy.
METHODS: FGF19 Knockdown cells were achieved by lentiviral-mediated interference, and FGFR4 knockout cells were achieved by CRISPR-Cas9. Protein levels of FGF19, FGFR4 and c-PARP in various HCC cell lines were measured by Western blotting analysis. Cell viability was determined by MTS assay, apoptosis was determined by DAPI nuclear staining and Western blot of c-PRAP, and ROS generation was determined by DCFH-DA staining and electrochemical biosensor.
RESULTS: We showed that FGF19, when overexpressed, inhibited the effect of sorafenib on ROS generation and apoptosis in HCC. In contrast, loss of FGF19 or its receptor FGFR4 led to a remarkable increase in sorafenib-induced ROS generation and apoptosis. In addition, knockdown of FGF19 in sorafenib-resistant HCC cells significantly enhanced the sensitivity to sorafenib. Importantly, targeting FGF19/FGFR4 axis by ponatinib, a third-generation inhibitor of chronic myeloid leukemia, overcomes HCC resistance of sorafenib by enhancing ROS-associated apoptosis in sorafenib-treated HCC.
CONCLUSION: Our results provide the first evidence that inhibition of FGF19/FGFR4 signaling significantly overcomes sorafenib resistance in HCC. Co-treatment of ponatinib and sorafinib may represent an effective therapeutic approach for eradicating HCC.

Arnold MA, Barr FG
Molecular diagnostics in the management of rhabdomyosarcoma.
Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2017; 17(2):189-194 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: A classification of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) with prognostic relevance has primarily relied on clinical features and histologic classification as either embryonal or alveolar RMS. The PAX3-FOXO1 and PAX7-FOXO1 gene fusions occur in 80% of cases with the alveolar subtype and are more predictive of outcome than histologic classification. Identifying additional molecular hallmarks that further subclassify RMS is an active area of research. Areas Covered: The authors review the current state of the PAX3-FOXO1 and PAX7-FOXO1 fusions as prognostic biomarkers. Emerging biomarkers, including mRNA expression profiling, MYOD1 mutations, RAS pathway mutations and gene fusions involving NCOA2 or VGLL2 are also reviewed. Expert commentary: Strategies for modifying RMS risk stratification based on molecular biomarkers are emerging with the potential to transform the clinical management of RMS, ultimately improving patient outcomes by tailoring therapy to predicted patient risk and identifying targets for novel therapies.

Katoh M
Therapeutics Targeting FGF Signaling Network in Human Diseases.
Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2016; 37(12):1081-1096 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling through its receptors, FGFR1, FGFR2, FGFR3, or FGFR4, regulates cell fate, angiogenesis, immunity, and metabolism. Dysregulated FGF signaling causes human diseases, such as breast cancer, chondrodysplasia, gastric cancer, lung cancer, and X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets. Recombinant FGFs are pro-FGF signaling therapeutics for tissue and/or wound repair, whereas FGF analogs and gene therapy are under development for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoarthritis. FGF traps, anti-FGF/FGFR monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), and small-molecule FGFR inhibitors are anti-FGF signaling therapeutics under development for the treatment of cancer, chondrodysplasia, and rickets. Here, I discuss the benefit-risk and cost-effectiveness issues of precision medicine targeting FGFRs, ALK, EGFR, and FLT3. FGFR-targeted therapy should be optimized for cancer treatment, focusing on genomic tests and recurrence.

Ezzat S, Wang R, Pintilie M, Asa SL
FGFR4 polymorphic alleles modulate mitochondrial respiration: A novel target for somatostatin analog action in pituitary tumors.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(2):3481-3494 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We reported that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at codon 388 of the fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4-Gly388Arg) can result in distinct proteins that alter pituitary cell growth and function. Here, we examined the differential properties of the available therapeutic somatostatin analogs, octreotide and pasireotide, in pituitary tumor cells expressing the different FGFR4 isoforms. Consistent with their enhanced growth properties, FGFR4-R388-expressing cells show higher mitochondrial STAT3 serine phosphorylation driving basal and maximal oxygen consumption rate (OCR) than pituitary cells expressing the more common FGFR4-G388 isoform. While both somatostatin analogs reduce the OCR in FGFR4-G388 cells, pasireotide was more effective in decreasing OCR in cells expressing the variant FGFR4-R388 isoform. Down-regulation of somatostatin receptor 5 (SSTR5) abrogated the effect of pasireotide, demonstrating its involvement in mediating this action. The effects on OCR were recapitulated by introducing a constitutively active serine STAT3 but not by a tyrosine-active mutant. Moreover, pharmacologic inhibition demonstrated the role for the phosphatase PP2A in mediating the dephosphorylation of STAT3-S727 by pasireotide. Our data indicate that FGFR4 polymorphic isoforms mediate signaling that yields mitochondrial therapeutic targets of relevance to the actions of different somatostatin analogs.

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