Fibroblast growth factor 18 (FGF18) is a member of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family. FGF family members possess broad mitogenic and cell survival activities, and are involved in a variety of biological processes, including embryonic development, cell growth, morphogenesis, tissue repair, tumor growth, and invasion. It has been shown in vitro that FGF18 is able to induce neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells. Studies of the similar proteins in mouse and chick suggested that this protein is a pleiotropic growth factor that stimulates proliferation in a number of tissues, most notably the liver and small intestine. Experiment datas identified FGF18 as a selective ligand for FGFR3 in limb bud mesenchymal cells, which suppressed proliferation and promoted their differentiation and production of cartilage matrix. FGF18 appears to regulate cell proliferation and differentiation positively in osteogenesis and negatively in chondrogenesis.
Ohbayashi N, et al. (2002) FGF18 is required for normal cell proliferation and differentiation during osteogenesis and chondrogenesis. Genes Dev. 16(7): 870-9. Davidson D, et al. (2005) Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 18 signals through FGF receptor 3 to promote chondrogenesis. J Biol Chem. 280(21): 20509-15. Liu Z, et al. (2007) FGF18 is required for early chondrocyte proliferation, hypertrophy and vascular invasion of the growth plate. Dev Biol. 302(1): 80-91.