The human FGF-9 cDNA encodes a 208 amino acid residue protein that contains a single, potential N-linked glycosylation site. The native protein is glycosylated and is efficiently secreted after synthesis, although FGF -9 lacks a typical secretion signal. Rat and mouse FGF-9 show a very high homology to human FGF-9. The transcripts for FGF-9 have been found in brain and in kidney tissue. Fibroblast Growth Factor-9 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. FGF9 was isolated as a secreted factor that exhibits a growth-stimulating effect on cultured glial cells. In nervous system, this protein is produced mainly by neurons and may be important for glial cell development. Expression of the mouse homolog of this gene was found to be dependent on Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling. Mice lacking the homolog gene displayed a male-to-female sex reversal phenotype, which suggested a role in testicular embryogenesis Fibroblast Growth Factor 9 may have a role in glial cell growth and differentiation during development, gliosis during repair and regeneration of brain tissue after damage, differentiation and survival of neuronal cells, and growth stimulation of glial tumors.
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