High molecular weight FGF2: the biology of a nuclear growth factor
Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) is one of the most studied growth factors to date. Most attention has been dedicated to the smallest, 18kDa FGF2 variant that is released by cells and acts through activation of cell-surface FGF-receptor tyrosine kinases. There are, however, several higher molecular weight (HMW) variants of FGF2 that rarely leave their producing cells, are retained in the nucleus and act independently of FGF-receptors (FGFR). Despite significant evidence documenting the expression and intracellular trafficking of HMW FGF2, many important questions remain about the physiological roles and mechanisms of action of HMW FGF2. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge about the biology of HMW FGF2, its role in disease and areas for future investigation.