Measurement of FGFR3 signaling at the cell membrane via total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to compare the activation of FGFR3 mutants
Sprache des Titels:
Fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) initiate signal transduction via the RAS/MAPK pathway by their tyrosine-kinase activation known to determine cell-growth, tissue differentiation, and apoptosis. Recently, many missense mutations have been reported for FGFR3, but we only know the functional effect for a handful of them. Some mutations result in aberrant FGFR3 signaling and are associated with various genetic disorders and oncogenic conditions. Here, we employed micropatterned surfaces to specifically enrich fluorophore-tagged FGFR3 (mGFP-FGFR3) in certain areas of the plasma membrane of living cells. We quantified receptor activation via total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy of FGFR3 signaling at the cell membrane that captured the recruitment of the downstream signal transducer GRB2 tagged with mScarlet (GRB2-mScarlet) to FGFR3 micropatterns. With this system, we tested the activation of FGFR3 upon ligand addition (fgf1 and fgf2) for wildtype (WT) and four FGFR3 mutants associated with congenital disorders (G380R, Y373C, K650Q, and K650E). Our data showed that ligand addition increased GRB2 recruitment to WT FGFR3, with fgf1 having a stronger effect than fgf2. For all mutants, we found an increased basal receptor activity, and only for two of the four mutants (G380R and K650Q), activity was further increased upon ligand addition. Compared to previous reports, two mutant receptors (K650Q and K650E) had either an unexpectedly high or low activation state, respectively. This can be attributed to the different methodology, since micropatterning specifically captures signaling events at the plasma membrane. Collectively, our results provide further insight into the functional effects of mutations to FGFR3.