We described previously that acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF), but not basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), can induce the rat carcinoma cell line NBT-II to undergo a rapid and reversible transition from epithelial to mesenchymal phenotype (EMT). We now find that NBT-II EMT is stimulated by keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) in cells grown at low density. Accordingly, a high-affinity receptor showing 98% homology to mouse FGF receptor 2b/KGF receptor was cloned and sequenced from NBT-II cells. Northern analysis indicated that mRNA for FGF receptor 2b/KGF receptor was drastically down-regulated within 1 wk in aFGF-induced mesenchymal NBT-II cells. This decrease coincided with an up-regulation of FGF receptor 2c/Bek, a KGF-insensitive, alternatively spliced form of FGF receptor 2b/KGF receptor. Functional studies confirmed that KGF could not maintain EMT induction on mesenchymal NBT-II cells. FGF receptor 1 and FGF receptor 2c/Bek could also support EMT induction when transfected into NBT-II cells in response to aFGF or bFGF. Such transfected cells could bind bFGF as well as aFGF. Therefore, EMT can be induced through different FGF receptors, but EMT may also regulate FGF receptor expression itself.