FGF signaling inhibitor, SPRY4, is evolutionarily conserved target of WNT signaling pathway in progenitor cells

Int J Mol Med. 2006 Mar;17(3):529-32.


WNT, FGF and Hedgehog signaling pathways network together during embryogenesis, tissue regeneration, and carcinogenesis. FGF16, FGF18, and FGF20 genes are targets of WNT-mediated TCF/LEF-beta-catenin-BCL9/BCL9L-PYGO transcriptional complex. SPROUTY (SPRY) and SPRED family genes encode inhibitors for receptor tyrosine kinase signaling cascades, such as those of FGF receptor family members and EGF receptor family members. Here, transcriptional regulation of SPRY1, SPRY2, SPRY3, SPRY4, SPRED1, SPRED2, and SPRED3 genes by WNT/beta-catenin signaling cascade was investigated by using bioinformatics and human intelligence (humint). Because double TCF/LEF-binding sites were identified within the 5'-promoter region of human SPRY4 gene, comparative genomics analyses on SPRY4 orthologs were further performed. SPRY4-FGF1 locus at human chromosome 5q31.3 and FGF2-NUDT6-SPATA5-SPRY1 locus at human chromosome 4q27-q28.1 were paralogous regions within the human genome. Chimpanzee SPRY4 gene was identified within NW_107083.1 genome sequence. Human, chimpanzee, rat and mouse SPRY4 orthologs, consisting of three exons, were well conserved. SPRY4 gene was identified as the evolutionarily conserved target of WNT/beta-catenin signaling pathway based on the conservation of double TCF/LEF-binding sites within 5'-promoter region of mammalian SPRY4 orthologs. Human SPRY4 mRNA was expressed in embryonic stem (ES) cells, brain, pancreatic islet, colon cancer, head and neck tumor, melanoma, and pancreatic cancer. WNT signaling activation in progenitor cells leads to the growth regulation of progenitor cells themselves through SPRY4 induction, and also to the growth stimulation of proliferating cells through FGF secretion. Epigenetic silencing and loss-of-function mutations of SPRY4 gene in progenitor cells could lead to carcinogenesis. SPRY4 is the pharmacogenomics target in the fields of oncology and regenerative medicine.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Computational Biology
  • Conserved Sequence*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Genome
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Lymphoid Enhancer-Binding Factor 1 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Pan troglodytes
  • Phylogeny
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • TCF Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism*


  • Lymphoid Enhancer-Binding Factor 1
  • RNA, Messenger
  • TCF Transcription Factors
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors