Basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2): the high molecular weight forms come of age

J Cell Biochem. 2007 Apr 1;100(5):1100-8. doi: 10.1002/jcb.21116.


After over thirty years from its discovery, research on basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) keeps revealing new aspects of the complexity of its gene expression as it evolved in the eukaryotic organisms. The discovery of multiple forms of FGF-2 generated by alternative translation from AUG and non-canonical CUG codons on the same mRNA transcript has led to the characterization of a low molecular weight (LMW) FGF-2 form and various high molecular weight (HMW) forms (four in humans). In this review, we discuss the biochemical features and biological activities of the different FGF-2 forms. In particular, we focus on the properties that are unique to the HMW forms and its biological functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Codon
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / genetics
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic*
  • Peptide Chain Initiation, Translational*
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Codon
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2