Biology of FGFRL1, the fifth fibroblast growth factor receptor

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2011 Mar;68(6):951-64. doi: 10.1007/s00018-010-0576-3. Epub 2010 Nov 16.


FGFRL1 (fibroblast growth factor receptor like 1) is the most recently discovered member of the FGFR family. It contains three extracellular Ig-like domains similar to the classical FGFRs, but it lacks the protein tyrosine kinase domain and instead contains a short intracellular tail with a peculiar histidine-rich motif. The gene for FGFRL1 is found in all metazoans from sea anemone to mammals. FGFRL1 binds to FGF ligands and heparin with high affinity. It exerts a negative effect on cell proliferation, but a positive effect on cell differentiation. Mice with a targeted deletion of the Fgfrl1 gene die perinatally due to alterations in their diaphragm. These mice also show bilateral kidney agenesis, suggesting an essential role for Fgfrl1 in kidney development. A human patient with a frameshift mutation exhibits craniosynostosis, arguing for an additional role of FGFRL1 during bone formation. FGFRL1 contributes to the complexity of the FGF signaling system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Craniosynostoses / metabolism*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism*
  • Heparin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kidney / growth & development
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Planarians
  • Protein Binding / genetics
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / genetics
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 5 / genetics*
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 5 / metabolism*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*
  • Species Specificity
  • Xenopus


  • FGFRL1 protein, human
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 5
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • Heparin