The FGF family: biology, pathophysiology and therapy

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2009 Mar;8(3):235-53. doi: 10.1038/nrd2792.


The family of fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) regulates a plethora of developmental processes, including brain patterning, branching morphogenesis and limb development. Several mitogenic, cytoprotective and angiogenic therapeutic applications of FGFs are already being explored, and the recent discovery of the crucial roles of the endocrine-acting FGF19 subfamily in bile acid, glucose and phosphate homeostasis has sparked renewed interest in the pharmacological potential of this family. This Review discusses traditional applications of recombinant FGFs and small-molecule FGF receptor kinase inhibitors in the treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease and their emerging potential in the treatment of metabolic syndrome and hypophosphataemic diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypophosphatemia / drug therapy
  • Hypophosphatemia / physiopathology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor / metabolism


  • FGF19 protein, human
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors