Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and their receptors (FGFRs) constitute signaling circuits that transmit signals across the plasma membrane, regulating pivotal cellular processes like differentiation, migration, proliferation, and apoptosis. The malfunction of FGFs/FGFRs signaling axis is observed in numerous developmental and metabolic disorders, and in various tumors. The large diversity of FGFs/FGFRs functions is attributed to a great complexity in the regulation of FGFs/FGFRs-dependent signaling cascades. The function of FGFRs is modulated at several levels, including gene expression, alternative splicing, posttranslational modifications, and protein trafficking. One of the emerging ways to adjust FGFRs activity is through formation of complexes with other integral proteins of the cell membrane. These proteins may act as coreceptors, modulating binding of FGFs to FGFRs and defining specificity of elicited cellular response. FGFRs may interact with other cell surface receptors, like G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) or receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). The cross-talk between various receptors modulates the strength and specificity of intracellular signaling and cell fate. At the cell surface FGFRs can assemble into large complexes involving various cell adhesion molecules (CAMs). The interplay between FGFRs and CAMs affects cell–cell interaction and motility and is especially important for development of the central nervous system. This review summarizes current stage of knowledge about the regulation of FGFRs by the plasma membrane-embedded partner proteins and highlights the importance of FGFRs-containing membrane complexes in pathological conditions, including cancer.
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