Platelet-derived growth factors and their receptors: Structural and functional perspectives

Po Han Chen, Xiaoyan Chen, Xiaolin He*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


The four types of platelet-derived growth factors (PDGFs) and the two types of PDGF receptors (PDGFRs, which belong to class III receptor tyrosine kinases) have important functions in the development of connective tissue cells. Recent structural studies have revealed novel mechanisms of PDGFs in propeptide loading and receptor recognition/activation. The detailed structural understanding of PDGF-PDGFR signaling has provided a template that can aid therapeutic intervention to counteract the aberrant signaling of this normally silent pathway, especially in proliferative diseases such as cancer. This review summarizes the advances in the PDGF system with a focus on relating the structural and functional understandings, and discusses the basic aspects of PDGFs and PDGFRs, the mechanisms of activation, and the insights into the therapeutic antagonism of PDGFRs. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Emerging recognition and activation mechanisms of receptor tyrosine kinases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2176-2186
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2013


  • Growth factor
  • Propeptide recognition
  • Receptor activation
  • Receptor tyrosine kinase
  • Signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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