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A structure-based model for ligand binding and dimerization of EGF receptors.

ABSTRACT: On the basis of the 3D structures of the extracellular ligand-binding domains of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) and ErbB3, a mechanism has been proposed for how the extracellular region of the EGFR is maintained in an autoinhibited configuration and for how EGF binding induces EGFR dimerization and activation. We have attempted to derive a mathematical model for EGF binding to the EGFR and for ligand-induced receptor dimerization and activation that uses this structural information and can explain the characteristic concave-up curvilinear Scatchard plots seen when EGF binding to intact EGFR is studied in living cells. We show that these curvilinear plots cannot be accounted for by simply ascribing different affinities to the autoinhibited and extended (dimeric) configurations of the receptor seen in structural studies. Concave-up plots can only be obtained by including in the mathematical model an additional binding event in which occupied EGFR dimers bind to an "external site." The external site may represent receptor interactions with coated-pit regions in the cell membrane or with other cellular components involved in receptor endocytosis and turnover. We conclude in this study and in the accompanying article that the active extended EGFR configuration binds EGF 5- to 20-fold more strongly than the autoinhibited monomeric receptor configuration. However, these extended receptors do not correspond directly with the "high-affinity" EGF-binding sites seen in EGF-binding studies on intact cells.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC327119 | BioStudies | 2004-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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