Fibroblast growth factor 18 (FGF -18, ENGL. Fibroblast growth factor 18) is a signaling protein of the family of fibroblast growth factor that is present in vertebrates.


In humans, there is the FGF- 18 encoding FGF18 gene on chromosome 5 locus q34. It was described first in 1998 and consists of 1999 base pairs. The gene exists in the mouse, rat and human first of 207 amino acids. By posttranslational modification, the first 27 amino acids, - the signal peptide - cut off so that the remaining 180 amino acids form the free FGF -18. FGF -18 is probably glycosylated at one or two amino acids, and thus has a molar mass of about 23 kDa.

In humans, the following sequence is given in single letter code:


Like all members of the FGF family, FGF- 18 is involved in a variety of biological processes, such as embryonic development, cell growth, morphogenesis, wound healing, and tumor growth and infiltration. In various model organisms stimulated FGF -18 as a growth factor, the proliferation of different tissues, particularly in the liver and small intestine.

In some tumors, such as colorectal cancer, the expression of FGF -18 is up-regulated.

When ossification ( bone formation ) and chondrogenesis ( cartilage formation ) seems FGF -18 to have an important stimulatory function.

The therapeutic potential of

Because of its multiple functions in the development, potentially also in the prevention or treatment of disease, the FGF -18 is a promising target (Target ). In the animal model could be stimulated by FGF -18 chondrogenesis for the construction of articular cartilage by intra-articular injection ( into the joint into it ). This is a potential therapeutic approach for arthritic joints. An appropriate drug ( AS902330 or rhFGF -18 (recombinant produced human FGF -18) ) is currently in clinical phase I and II