FGF21, an endocrine regulator, is a member of the fibroblast growth factor family. The FGF family has 22 members in the humans. Its receptor family, i.e. FGFR has 4 members in the Homo sapiens. The family of FGF has been only found in multicellular organisms. The FGF21 has a key role in the regulation of various metabolic fundamental physiological processes such as cell differentiation, morphogenesis, proliferation etc.
FGF21 has varied importance in various metabolic pathways. It has been found that FGF21 is able to augment insulin activity in the glucose uptake and thus has an insulin-like activity in addition it has been found to have anti-obesity effects. Further, FGF 21 has been found to have lipolytic activity in adipocytes, capability to carry ketogenesis, clearance of triglycerides in hepatocytes, potential to carry torpor and signalling of hormones required for growth in hepatocytes.
Any aberrations in the FGF21 have been linked to hazardous health conditions of cancer and metabolic disorders. Various diseases such as NAFLD, Cushing’s syndrome, lypodystrophye, end stage renal disease have been diagnosed with increased FGF21 serum levels. There is a wide scope of therapeutic applications considering numerous pathways that FGF21 is an integral part of and could also play as a biomarker for identification of numerous diseases.