FRS2α is essential for the fibroblast growth factor to regulate the mTOR pathway and autophagy in mouse embryonic fibroblasts

Int J Biol Sci. 2011;7(8):1114-21. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.7.1114. Epub 2011 Sep 15.


Although the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling axis plays important roles in cell survival, proliferation, and differentiation, the molecular mechanism underlying how the FGF elicits these diverse regulatory signals is not well understood. By using the Frs2α null mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) in conjunction with inhibitors to multiple signaling pathways, here we report that the FGF signaling axis activates mTOR via the FGF receptor substrate 2α (FRS2α)-mediated PI3K/Akt pathway, and suppresses autophagy activity in MEFs. In addition, the PI3K/Akt pathway regulated mTOR is crucial for the FGF signaling axis to suppress autophagy in MEFs. Since autophagy has been proposed to play important roles in cell survival, proliferation, and differentiation, the findings suggest a novel mechanism for the FGF signaling axis to transmit regulatory signals to downstream effectors.

Keywords: FGF; autophagy; cell signaling.; mouse embryonic fibroblast; receptor tyrosine kinase.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy / physiology*
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Survival
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology*


  • FRS2alpha protein, mouse
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • mTOR protein, mouse
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt