Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.267, No.2, 658-662, 2000
Identification of a novel alternative splicing of human FGF receptor 4: Soluble-form splice variant expressed in human gastrointestinal epithelial cells
Among four closely related members of the FGF receptor family, FGFR 1, 2, and 3 have alternative splicing forms encoded by different exons for the C-terminal half of the third Ig-like domain, but FGFR 4 has no such alternative exon. Furthermore, FGFR I, 2, and 3 have another splice variant of nontransmembrane type; however, such a variant has not been reported for FGFR 4. While searching for a novel receptor-type tyrosine kinase by RT-PCR, we identified a non-transmembrane-type receptor of FGFR 4 in human intestinal epithelial cell lines (Intestine 407 and Caco-2). Sequence analysis of this receptor revealed that exon 9 coding the single transmembrane domain was displaced by intron 9. Consequently, this variant form was 120 bp shorter than the normal form and had no transmembrane portion. Moreover, the signal sequence in exon 2 was maintained, suggesting that this splice variant is a soluble receptor. This soluble receptor was detected in human gastrointestinal epithelial cells and pancreas, and also in gastric, colon, and pancreatic cancer cell lines. Single cell RT-PCR showed that this soluble receptor was expressed simultaneously with the transmembrane-type receptor in the same cell. Western blot analysis revealed that this receptor was secreted from the transfected COS7 cells. Thus, a soluble-form splice variant of FGFR 4 was identified in human gastrointestinal epithelial cells and cancer cells. This is the first report of alternative splicing of FGFR 4.