FGF-8: ProductsFGF-8 is a member of the fibroblast growth factor family that was originally discovered as a growth factor essential for the androgen-dependent growth of mouse mammary carcinoma cells. Alternate splicing of mouse FGF-8 mRNA generates eight secreted isoforms, designated a - h, but only FGF-8a, b, e and f exist in humans. FGF-8 contains a 22 amino acid (aa) signal sequence, an N-terminal domain that varies according to the isoform (30 aa for FGF-8b; 20 aa for the shortest, FGF-8a), a 125 aa FGF domain and a 37 aa proline-rich C-terminal sequence. The FGF domain of FGF-8 shares the most aa identity with FGF-17 (75%) and FGF-18 (67%), and the three form an FGF subfamily. Mouse FGF-8b shares 100% aa identity with human FGF-8b. FGF-8 is widely expressed during embryogenesis, and mediates epithelial-mesenchymal transitions. It plays an organizing and inducing role during gastrulation, and regulates patterning of the midbrain/hindbrain, eye, ear, limbs and heart in the embryo. The isoforms may play different roles in development. FGF-8b shows the strongest receptor affinity and oncogenic transforming capacity although FGF-8a and FGF-8e are also transforming and have been found in human prostate, breast or ovarian tumors. FGF-8 shows limited expression in the normal adult, but low levels are found in the reproductive and genitourinary tract, peripheral leukocytes and bone marrow hematopoietic cells.