Author(s): Jackson A
Fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF-1) is a potent angiogenic and neurotrophic factor whose structure lacks a classical signal sequence for secretion. Although the initiation of these biological activities involves the interaction between FGF-1 and cell surface receptors, the mechanism responsible for the regulation of FGF-1 secretion is unknown. We report that murine NIH 3T3 cells transfected with a synthetic gene encoding FGF-1 secrete FGF-1 into their conditioned medium in response to heat shock. The form of FGF-1 released by NIH 3T3 cells in response to increased temperature (42 degrees C, 2 hr) in vitro is not biologically active and does not associate with either heparin or the extracellular NIH 3T3 monolayer matrix. However, it was possible to derive biologically active FGF-1 from the conditioned medium of heat-shocked NIH 3T3 cell transfectants by ammonium sulfate fractionation. The form of FGF-1 exposed by ammonium sulfate fractionation is similar in size to cytosolic FGF-1 and can bind and be eluted from immobilized heparin similarly to the recombinant human FGF-1 polypeptide. Further, the release of FGF-1 by NIH 3T3 cell transfectants in response to heat shock is reduced significantly by both actinomycin D and cycloheximide. These data indicate that increased temperature may upregulate the expression of a factor responsible for the secretion of FGF-1 as a biologically inactive complex that requires an activation step to exhibit the biological activity of the extracellular polypeptide mitogen.