Alternative splicing affecting a novel domain in the C. elegans EGL-15 FGF receptor confers functional specificity

S. Jay Goodman, Catherine S. Branda, Matthew K. Robinson, Rebecca D. Burdine, Michael J. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptors trigger a wide variety of cellular responses as diverse as cell migration, cell proliferation and cell differentiation. However, the molecular basis of the specificity of these responses is not well understood. The C. elegans FGF receptor EGL-15 similarly mediates a number of different responses, including transducing a chemoattractive signal and mediating an essential function. Analysis of the migration-specific alleles of egl-15 has identified a novel EGL-15 isoform that provides a molecular explanation for the different phenotypic effects of lesions at this locus. Alternative splicing yields two EGL-15 proteins containing different forms of a domain located within the extracellular region of the receptors immediately after the first IG domain. Neither of these two domain forms is found in any other FGF receptor. We have tested the roles of these EGL-15 receptor isoforms and their two FGF ligands for their signaling specificity. Our analyses demonstrate different physiological functions for the two receptor variants. EGL-15(5A) is required for the response to the FGF chemoattractant that guides the migrating sex myoblasts to their final positions. By contrast, EGL-15(5B) is both necessary and sufficient to elicit the essential function mediated by this receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3757-3766
Number of pages10
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


  • Achondroplasia
  • Alternative splicing
  • Chemoattraction
  • EGL-15
  • FGF receptor
  • Sex myoblast


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