We have isolated and characterized the cDNA and genomic DNA encoding fibroblast growth factor receptor-4 of Xenopus laevis (XFGFR-4). The gene encompassing the total coding sequence spans about 10 kb, consists of 17 exons, and has an organization very similar to those of mammalian genes encoding FGFR-1 and -2, except that the XFGFR-4 gene does not contain an alternative exon for the third immunoglobulin-like domain nor an internal poly(A)-addition site. Thus, XFGFR-4 appears not to generate multiple forms of mRNA, as are identified for the mammalian FGFR-1, -2 and -3 genes. The amino-acid sequence of XFGFR-4 shows high homology to other vertebrate FGFR-4 species, but the similarity was significantly lower than in the cases of FGFR-1 and -2. Northern blot analysis showed the XFGFR-4 mRNA to occur throughout X. laevis early embryogenesis in a profile different from those of X. laevis FGFR-1 and -2.
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