FGFR2-related pathogenesis and FGFR2-targeted therapeutics (Review)

Int J Mol Med. 2009 Mar;23(3):307-11. doi: 10.3892/ijmm_00000132.


FGFR2 gene at human chromosome 10q26 encodes FGFR2b and FGFR2c isoforms functioning as FGF receptors with distinct expression domain and ligand specificity. FGFR2 plays oncogenic and anti-oncogenic roles in a context-dependent manner. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within intron 2 of FGFR2 gene are associated with breast cancer through allelic FGFR2 upregulation. Missense mutations or copy number gains of FGFR2 gene occur in breast cancer and gastric cancer to activate FGFR2 signaling. Aberrant FGFR2 signaling activation induces proliferation and survival of tumor cells. The class switch from FGFR2b to FGFR2c occurs during progression of prostate cancer and bladder cancer because of spliceosome dysregulation. In addition, epidermal Fgfr2b knockout mice show increased sensitivity to chemical carcinogenesis partly due to the failure of Nfe2l2 (Nrf2)-mediated detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Loss of FGFR2b signaling induces epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and unruly ROS. FGFR2 signaling dysregulation due to the accumulation of epigenetic modifications and genetic alterations during chronic inflammation, smoking, increased caloric uptake, and decreased exercise leads to carcinogenesis. PD173074, SU5402, AZD2171, and Ki23057 are small-molecule FGFR inhibitors. Human antibody, peptide mimetic, RNA aptamer, siRNA, and synthetic microRNA (miRNA) are emerging technologies to be applied for cancer therapeutics targeted to FGFR2. Because novel sequence technology and peta-scale super-computer are opening up the sequence era following the genome era, personalized medicine prescribing targeted drugs based on germline and/or somatic genomic information is coming reality. Application of FGFR2 inhibitors for cancer treatment in patients with FGFR2 mutation or gene amplification is beneficial; however, that for cancer prevention in people with FGFR2 risk allele might be disadvantageous due to the impediment of a cytoprotective mechanism against oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 10 / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 10 / metabolism
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Gene Dosage / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2 / genetics*
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Risk Factors
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Spliceosomes / genetics
  • Spliceosomes / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Isoenzymes
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • FGFR2 protein, human
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2