FGF2 drives osteosarcoma metastasis through activating FGFR1-4 receptor pathway-mediated ICAM-1 expression

Biochem Pharmacol. 2023 Dec:218:115853. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2023.115853. Epub 2023 Oct 11.


Osteosarcoma is a malignant tumor with high metastatic potential, such that the overall 5-year survival rate of patients with metastatic osteosarcoma is only 20%. Therefore, it is necessary to unravel the mechanisms of osteosarcoma metastasis to identify predictors of metastasis by which to develop new therapies. Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) is a growth factor involved in embryonic development, cell migration, and proliferation. The overexpression of FGF2 and FGF receptors (FGFRs) has been shown to enhance cancer cell proliferation in lung, breast, gastric, and prostate cancers as well as melanoma. Nonetheless, the roles of FGF2 and FGFRs in human osteosarcoma cells remain unknown. In the present study, we found that FGF2 was overexpressed in human osteosarcoma sections and correlated with lung metastasis. Treatment of FGF2 induced migration activity, invasion activity, and intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 expression in osteosarcoma cells. In particular, the downregulation or antagonism of FGFR1-4 suppressed FGF2-induced ICAM-1 expression and cancer cell migration. Furthermore, FGFR1, FGFR2, FGFR3, and FGFR4 were involved in FGF2-induced the phospholipase Cβ/protein kinase Cα/proto-oncogene c-Src signaling pathway and triggered c-Jun nuclear translocation. Subsequent c-Jun upregulation of activator protein-1 transcription activity on the ICAM-1 promoter led to an increased migration of osteosarcoma cells. Moreover, the knockdown of endogenous FGF2 suppressed ICAM-1 expression and migration of osteosarcoma cells. These findings suggest that FGF2/FGFR1-4 signaling promotes metastasis via its direct downstream target gene ICAM-1, revealing a novel potential therapeutic target for osteosarcoma.

Keywords: FGF2; FGFRs; ICAM-1; Metastasis; Osteosarcoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bone Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / genetics
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Male
  • Osteosarcoma* / genetics
  • Osteosarcoma* / pathology
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 1 / genetics
  • Signal Transduction


  • FGFR1 protein, human
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 1
  • ICAM1 protein, human
  • FGFR4 protein, human
  • FGFR3 protein, human
  • FGFR2 protein, human