Molecular modeling and deletion mutagenesis implicate the nuclear translocation sequence in structural integrity of fibroblast growth factor-1. Academic Article uri icon


  • The sequence NYKKPKL in the NH2 terminus of fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-1 has been proposed to affect the long term activities of FGF-1 through its function as a nuclear translocation signal or its role in stabilization of the structure required to sustain binding and activation of the transmembrane receptor kinase. A dynamic molecular model of FGF-1 docked into a duplex of the FGF receptor ectodomain and a hexadecameric heparin chain suggests that the NYKKPKL sequence does not directly interact with heparin or the receptor, but rather the lysine-leucine residues within the sequence indirectly stabilize a major receptor-binding domain. Concurrent with a marked increase in dependence on exogenous heparin for optimal activity, sequential deletion of residues in the NYKKPKL sequence in FGF-1 resulted in a progressive loss of thermal stability, resistance to protease, mitogenic activity, and affinity for the transmembrane receptor. The largest change resulted from deletion of the entire sequence through the lysine-leucine residues. In the presence of sufficiently high concentrations of heparin, the deletion mutants exhibited mitogenic activity equal to wild-type FGF-1. The results confirm that a primary role of the NYKKPKL sequence domain is to maintain the structural integrity of FGF-1 required for optimal binding to and activation of the heparan sulfate-transmembrane receptor complex.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Luo, Y., Gabriel, J. L., Wang, F., Zhan, X., Maciag, T., Kan, M., & McKeehan, W. L

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Luo, Y||Gabriel, JL||Wang, F||Zhan, X||Maciag, T||Kan, M||McKeehan, WL

publication date

  • October 1996