Members of the FGF family of growth factors localize to the nuclei in a variety of different cell types. To determine whether FGF receptors are also present within nuclei and if this localization is regulated by FGFs, nuclei were prepared from quiescent and FGF-2-treated Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts and examined for the presence of FGF receptors by immunoblotting with an antibody produced against the extracellular domain of FGF receptor-1 (FGFR-1). Little or no FGFR-1 is detected in nuclei prepared from quiescent cells. When cells are treated with FGF-2, however, there is a time- and dose-dependent increase in the association of FGFR-1 immunoreactivity with the nucleus. In contrast, treatment with either EGF or 10% serum does not increase the association of FGFR-1 with the nucleus. When cell surface proteins are labeled with biotin, a biotinylated FGFR-1 is detected in the nuclear fraction prepared from FGF-2-treated, but not untreated, cells indicating that the nuclear-associated FGFR-1 immunoreactivity derives from the cell surface. The presence of FGFR-1 in the nuclei of FGF-2-treated cells was confirmed by immunostaining with a panel of different FGFR-1 antibodies, including one directed against the COOH-terminal domain of the protein. Fractionation of nuclei from FGF-2-treated cells indicates that nuclear FGFR-1 is localized to the nuclear matrix, suggesting that the receptor may play a role in regulating gene activity.

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