Two mutations in FGFR3, G380R and G375C are known to cause achondroplasia, the most common form of human dwarfism. The G380R mutation accounts for 98% of the achondroplasia cases, and thus has been studied extensively. Here we study the effect of the G375C mutation on the phosphorylation and the cross-linking propensity of full-length FGFR3 in HEK 293 cells, and we compare the results to previously published results for the G380R mutant. We observe identical behavior of the two achondroplasia mutants in these experiments, a finding which supports a direct link between the severity of dwarfism phenotypes and the level and mechanism of FGFR3 over-activation. The mutations do not increase the cross-linking propensity of FGFR3, contrary to previous expectations that the achondroplasia mutations stabilize the FGFR3 dimers. Instead, the phosphorylation efficiency within un-liganded FGFR3 dimers is increased, and this increase is likely the underlying cause for pathogenesis in achondroplasia. We further investigate the G346E mutation, which has been reported to cause achondroplasia in one case. We find that this mutation does not increase FGFR3 phosphorylation and decreases FGFR3 cross-linking propensity, a finding which raises questions whether this mutation is indeed a genetic cause for human dwarfism. © 2012 He et al.
He, L., Serrano, C., Niphadkar, N., Shobnam, N., & Hristova, K. (2012). Effect of the G375C and G346E achondroplasia mutations on FGFR3 activation. PLoS ONE, 7(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0034808