Molecular cloning and characterization of human FGF8 alternative messenger RNA forms

Cell Growth Differ. 1996 Oct;7(10):1425-34.


Three alternatively spliced mRNA isoforms of the human fibroblast growth factor-8 (FGF8) gene, expressed in a prostatic carcinoma cell line, have been isolated as cDNA clones and characterized by DNA sequencing. The clones, designated FGF8a, FGF8b, and FGF8e, differ from each other at the NH2-terminal region of the mature proteins and share extensive nucleotide sequence homology in the protein coding region to the corresponding mouse cDNA isoforms that were previously reported. FGF8a and FGF8b exhibit identical amino acid sequences to those of their murine counterparts. FGF8e displays partial sequence variation from the corresponding mouse clone only in the extra exon sequence found in this isoform in both species. There is extensive sequence diversity between FGF8 (human) and Fgf8 (murine) genes in the 3'-untranslated region of the mRNAs. Northern blot analyses revealed FGF8 mRNA expression only in fetal kidney tissue among the various fetal and adult human tissues tested. The reverse transcription-PCR amplification method, however, detected FGF8 mRNA expression in adult prostate, kidney, and testes (the tissues that were tested) and in all normal and tumor prostatic epithelial cell lines examined; although expression of both FGF8a and FGF8b was seen in kidney and testes, FGF8b appeared to be the predominantly expressed species in the prostatic tissue and cell lines analyzed by reverse transcription-PCR. To address the biological effect of specific isoform expression, NIH3T3 cells were transfected with a eukaryotic expression vector containing cDNA for FGF8a, FGF8b, or FGF8e. Consistent with previous reports on differences in the transforming potential of mouse FGF8 isoforms, human FGF8b was found to induce marked morphological transformation to NIH3T3 cells and strong tumorigenicity of the transfected cells in nude mice. Human FGF8a and FGF8e were moderately transforming in NIH3T3 cells, and the transfected cells were moderately tumorigenic in vivo. These results document the production of three alternatively spliced FGF8 mRNAs in human tissues and the transforming and tumorigenic potential of their protein products. Moreover, these data, combined with the tissue-specific expression of these isoforms, suggest that they may have different biological functions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 8
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Growth Substances / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • FGF8 protein, human
  • Fgf8 protein, mouse
  • Growth Substances
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 8
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U46211
  • GENBANK/U46212
  • GENBANK/U46213
  • GENBANK/U46214