We have previously reported the alternatively spliced transcripts of fibroblast growth factor 3 (FGFR3 ATs and MTs) derived by aberrant splicing and usage of cryptic splicing sites. Here, we describe a soluble variant of FGFR3 (FGFR3 AT-III) arising from skipping exons 8, 9, and 10 in human SaOS-2 osteosarcoma cell. This splicing event leads to the generation of an mRNA encoding a FGFR3 in which the COOH-terminal portion of the Ig-like-III domain and transmembrane domain are deleted while the remainder of the mature molecule is fused in-frame to the COOH-terminal cytoplasmic kinases domains. Sf9 cells transfected with the corresponding cDNA express the soluble form of FGFR3 AT-III into the condition medium and its secreted form was able to bind both FGF-1 and FGF-2 leading to loss of ligand binding specificity. These results indicate that the FGFR3 AT-III mRNAs are transcribed due to exon skipping with altered ligand binding specificity. These results suggest that the presence of soluble transcripts of FGFRs gene is a common feature due to mRNA splicing and this splicing plays an important role in the regulation of FGFRs function.
(c)2002 Elsevier Science (USA).