Metabolic regulator betaKlotho interacts with fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) to induce apoptosis and inhibit tumor cell proliferation. Academic Article uri icon


  • In organs involved in metabolic homeostasis, transmembrane α and βklothos direct FGFR signaling to control of metabolic pathways. Coordinate expression of βklotho and FGFR4 is a property of mature hepatocytes. Genetic deletion of FGFR4 or βklotho in mice disrupts hepatic cholesterol/bile acid and lipid metabolism. The deletion of FGFR4 has no effect on the proliferative response of hepatocytes after liver injury. However, its absence results in accelerated progression of dimethynitrosamine-initiated hepatocellular carcinomas, indicating that FGFR4 suppresses hepatoma proliferation. The mechanism underlying the FGFR4-mediated hepatoma suppression has not been addressed. Here we show that βklotho expression is more consistently down-regulated in human and mouse hepatomas than FGFR4. Co-expression and activation by either endocrine FGF19 or cellular FGF1 of the FGFR4 kinase in a complex with βklotho restricts cell population growth through induction of apoptotic cell death in both hepatic and nonhepatic cells. The βklotho-FGFR4 partnership caused a depression of activated AKT and mammalian target of rapamycin while activating ERK1/2 that may underlie the pro-apoptotic effect. Our results show that βklotho not only interacts with heparan sulfate-FGFR4 to form a complex with high affinity for endocrine FGF19 but also impacts the quality of downstream signaling and biological end points activated by either FGF19 or canonical FGF1. Thus the same βklotho-heparan sulfate-FGFR4 partnership that mediates endocrine control of hepatic metabolism plays a role in cellular homeostasis and hepatoma suppression through negative control of cell population growth mediated by pro-apoptotic signaling.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Luo, Y., Yang, C., Lu, W., Xie, R., Jin, C., Huang, P., Wang, F., & McKeehan, W. L

citation count

  • 41

complete list of authors

  • Luo, Yongde||Yang, Chaofeng||Lu, Weiqin||Xie, Rui||Jin, Chengliu||Huang, Peng||Wang, Fen||McKeehan, Wallace L

publication date

  • July 2010