Biological functions of the low and high molecular weight protein isoforms of fibroblast growth factor-2 in cardiovascular development and disease

Siyun Liao, Janet Bodmer, Daniel Pietras, Mohamad Azhar, Tom Doetschman, Jo El J. Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

47 Scopus citations


Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) consists of multiple protein isoforms (low molecular weight, LMW, and high molecular weight, HMW) produced by alternative translation from the Fgf2 gene. These protein isoforms are localized to different cellular compartments, indicating unique biological activity. FGF2 isoforms in the heart have distinct roles in many pathological circumstances in the heart including cardiac hypertrophy, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and atherosclerosis. These studies suggest distinct biological activities of FGF2 LMW and HMW isoforms both in vitro and in vivo. Yet, due to the limitations that only the recombinant FGF2 LMW isoform is readily available and that the FGF2 antibody is nonspecific with regards to its isoforms, much remains to be determined regarding the role(s) of the FGF2 LMW and HMW isoforms in cellular behavior and in cardiovascular development and pathophysiology. This review summarizes the activities of LMW and HMW isoforms of FGF2 in cardiovascular development and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-264
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009



  • Aortic arch
  • Cardiac fibroblasts
  • Cardiac hypertrophy
  • Cardiovascular development
  • Coronary vessels
  • Epicardium
  • Epicardium-derived cells
  • Fibroblast growth factor
  • Heart valves
  • Ischemia-reperfusion injury
  • Low and high molecular weight isoforms
  • Myocardial development
  • Smooth muscle cells
  • Transgenic and knockout mouse models
  • Vascular biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology

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