Stable Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 Dimers with High Pro-Survival and Mitogenic Potential

Published on Jun 9, 2020in International Journal of Molecular Sciences4.556
· DOI :10.3390/IJMS21114108
Daria Nawrocka1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UWr: University of Wrocław),
Mateusz Adam Krzyscik4
Estimated H-index: 4
(UWr: University of Wrocław)
+ 2 AuthorsJacek Otlewski44
Estimated H-index: 44
(UWr: University of Wrocław)
Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) is a heparin-binding growth factor with broad mitogenic and cell survival activities. Its effector functions are induced upon the formation of 2:2 FGF2:FGFR1 tetrameric complex. To facilitate receptor activation, and therefore, to improve the FGF2 biological properties, we preorganized dimeric ligand by a covalent linkage of two FGF2 molecules. Mutations of the FGF2 WT protein were designed to obtain variants with a single surface-exposed reactive cysteine for the chemical conjugation via maleimide-thiol reaction with bis-functionalized linear PEG linkers. We developed eight FGF2 dimers of defined topology, differing in mutual orientation of individual FGF2 molecules. The engineered proteins remained functional in terms of FGFR downstream signaling activation and were characterized by the increased stability, mitogenic potential and anti-apoptotic activity, as well as induced greater migration responses in normal fibroblasts, as compared to FGF2 monomer. Importantly, biological activity of the dimers was much less dependent on the external heparin administration. Moreover, some dimeric FGF2 variants internalized more efficiently into FGFR overexpressing cancer cells. In summary, in the current work, we showed that preorganization of dimeric FGF2 ligand increased the stability of the growth factor, and therefore, enhanced its biological activity.
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