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    Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) are a family of proteins that play a crucial role in the development and maintenance of various tissues in the body. There are three function-al groups of FGFs: canonical FGFs (cFGFs), intracellularly retained FGFs, and metabolic (also called endocrine) FGFs. cFGFs are secreted and act in an autocrine/paracrine fashion to regulate differentiation during foetal development, as well as tissue repair in adults. Recent studies have also begun to unravel the role of cFGFs during viral infections, suggesting that FGF-2 and other canonical FGFs may have an important virus-specific role, also by the regulation of the immune response. Because dysregulation in the FGF pathways is pivotal in cancer development, FGFs are the target of many anticancer drugs. These drugs may be repurposed to treat viral infection, since dysregulation of FGF signalling has been implicated in the pathogenesis of viral infections, such as hepatitis C. Overall, the role of cFGFs during viral infection is an underrepresented area of current research. This review focuses on overviewing the effects of canonical FGFs during infection by different viruses. Many studies highlight that the effects of FGFs during viral infection may be complex and context-dependent. While there is evidence to suggest that FGFs may have a beneficial impact on the immune response and tissue repair during viral infection, further studies are needed to fully understand the mechanisms underlying these effects and to determine in what cases FGFs could be targeted as a therapeutic approach for viral infection. © 2023 The Authors. Reviews in Medical Virology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


    Giulia Lottini, Erika Plicanti, Michele Lai, Paola Quaranta, Mauro Pistello, Giulia Freer. Canonical fibroblast growth factors in viral infection. Reviews in medical virology. 2023 Jul;33(4):e2452

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    PMID: 37119022

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