Functional isolation of activated and unilaterally phosphorylated heterodimers of ERBB2 and ERBB3 as scaffolds in ligand-dependent signaling.
ABSTRACT: The EGFR (ERBB) family provides a model system for receptor signaling, oncogenesis, and the development of targeted therapeutics. Heterodimers of the ligand-binding-deficient ERBB2 (HER2) receptor and the kinase impaired ERBB3 (HER3) create a potent mitogenic signal, but the phosphorylation of ERBB2 in this context presents a challenge to established models of phosphorylation in trans. Higher order complexes of ERBB receptors have been observed biophysically and offer a theoretical route for ERBB2 phosphorylation, but it is not clear whether such complexes provide functionality beyond the constituent dimers. We now show that a previously selected inhibitory RNA aptamer that targets the extracellular domain (ECD) of ERBB3 acts by sterically disrupting these higher order interactions. Ligand binding, heterodimerization, phosphorylation of ERBB3, and AKT signaling are only minimally affected, whereas ERBB2 phosphorylation and MAPK signaling are selectively inhibited. The mapping of the binding site and creation of aptamer-resistant point mutants are consistent with a model of side-by-side oriented heterodimers to facilitate proxy phosphorylation, even at very low endogenous levels of receptors (below 10,000 receptors per cell). Additional modes of signaling with relevance to pathological ERBB expression states emerge at high receptor levels. Hence, higher order complexes of nonoverexpressed ERBB receptors are an integral and qualitatively distinct part of normal ERBB2/ERBB3 signaling. This mechanism of activation has implications for models of allosteric control, specificity of interactions, possible mechanisms of cross-talk, and approaches to therapeutic intervention that at present often generate experimental and clinical outcomes that do not reconcile with purely canonical, dimer-based models.
Project description:Dimerization or the formation of higher-order oligomers is required for the activation of ErbB receptor tyrosine kinases. The heregulin (HRG) receptor, ErbB3, must heterodimerize with other members of the family, preferentially ErbB2, to form a functional signal transducing complex. Here, we applied single molecule imaging capable of detecting long-lived and mobile associations to measure their stoichiometry and mobility and analyzed data from experiments globally, taking the different lateral mobility of monomeric and dimeric molecular species into account. Although ErbB3 was largely monomeric in the absence of stimulation and ErbB2 co-expression, a small fraction was present as constitutive homodimers exhibiting a ?40% lower mobility than monomers. HRG stimulation increased the homodimeric fraction of ErbB3 significantly and reduced the mobility of homodimers fourfold compared to constitutive homodimers. Expression of ErbB2 elevated the homodimeric fraction of ErbB3 even in unstimulated cells and induced a ?2-fold reduction in the lateral mobility of ErbB3 homodimers. The mobility of ErbB2 was significantly lower than that of ErbB3, and HRG induced a less pronounced decrease in the diffusion coefficient of all ErbB2 molecules and ErbB3/ErbB2 heterodimers than in the mobility of ErbB3. The slower diffusion of ErbB2 compared to ErbB3 was abolished by depolymerizing actin filaments, whereas ErbB2 expression induced a substantial rearrangement of microfilaments, implying a bidirectional interaction between ErbB2 and actin. HRG stimulation of cells co-expressing ErbB3 and ErbB2 led to the formation of ErbB3 homodimers and ErbB3/ErbB2 heterodimers in a competitive fashion. Although pertuzumab, an antibody binding to the dimerization arm of ErbB2, completely abolished the formation of constitutive and HRG-induced ErbB3/ErbB2 heterodimers, it only slightly blocked ErbB3 homodimerization. The results imply that a dynamic equilibrium exists between constitutive and ligand-induced homo- and heterodimers capable of shaping transmembrane signaling.
Project description:The epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor is a member of the ErbB family of receptors that also includes ErbB2, ErbB3, and ErbB4. These receptors form homo- and heterodimers in response to ligand with ErbB2 being the preferred dimerization partner. Here we use (125)I-EGF binding to quantitate the interaction of the EGF receptor with ErbB2. We show that the EGFR/ErbB2 heterodimer binds EGF with a 7-fold higher affinity than the EGFR homodimer. Because it cannot bind a second ligand, the EGFR/ErbB2 heterodimer is not subject to ligand-induced dissociation caused by the negatively cooperative binding of EGF to the second site on the EGFR homodimer. This increases the stability of the heterodimer relative to the homodimer and is associated with enhanced and prolonged EGF receptor autophosphorylation. These effects are independent of the kinase activity of ErbB2 but require back-to-back dimerization of the EGF receptor with ErbB2. Back-to-back dimerization is also required for phosphorylation of ErbB2. These findings provide a molecular explanation for the apparent preference of the EGF receptor for dimerizing with ErbB2 and suggest that the phosphorylation of ErbB2 occurs largely in the context of the EGFR/ErbB2 heterodimer, rather than through lateral phosphorylation of isolated ErbB2 subunits.
Project description:As ErbB signaling is a determinant of prolactin synthesis, role of ErbB receptors was tested for prolactinoma outcomes and therapy. The objective of this study was to characterize ErbB receptor expression in prolactinomas and then perform a pilot study treating resistant prolactinomas with a targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). Retrospective analysis of prolactinomas and pilot study for dopamine agonist resistant prolactinomas in tertiary referral center. We performed immunofluorescent staining of a tissue array of 29 resected prolactinoma tissues for EGFR, ErbB2, ErbB3, and ErbB4 correlated with clinical features. Two patients with aggressive resistant prolactinomas enrolled and completed trial. They received lapatinib 1,250 mg daily for 6 months with tumor and hormone assessments. Main outcome measures were positive tumor staining of respective ErbB receptors, therapeutic reduction of prolactin levels and tumor shrinkage. Treated PRL levels and tumor volumes were suppressed in both subjects treated with TKI. EGFR expression was positive in 82 % of adenomas, ErbB2 in 92 %, ErbB3 in 25 %, and ErbB4 in 71 %, with ErbB2 score > EGFR > ErbB4 > ErbB3. Higher ErbB3 expression was associated with optic chiasm compression (p = 0.03), suprasellar extension (p = 0.04), and carotid artery encasement (p = 0.01). Higher DA response rates were observed in tumors with higher ErbB3 expression. Prolactinoma expression of specific ErbB receptors is associated with tumor invasion, symptoms, and response to dopamine agonists. Targeting ErbB receptors may be effective therapy in patients with resistant prolactinomas.
Project description:ErbB receptors (EGFR (ErbB1), ErbB2, ErbB3, and ErbB4) are important regulators of normal growth and differentiation, and they are involved in the pathogenesis of cancer. Following ligand binding and receptor activation, EGFR is endocytosed and transported to lysosomes where the receptor is degraded. This downregulation of EGFR is a complex and tightly regulated process. The functions of ErbB2, ErbB3, and ErbB4 are also regulated by endocytosis to some extent, although the current knowledge of these processes is sparse. Impaired endocytic downregulation of signaling receptors is frequently associated with cancer, since it can lead to increased and uncontrolled receptor signaling. In this review we describe the current knowledge of ErbB receptor endocytic downregulation. In addition, we outline how ErbB receptors can escape endocytic downregulation in cancer, and we discuss how targeted anti-cancer therapy may induce endocytic downregulation of ErbB receptors.
Project description:Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling is strongly implicated in glioblastoma (GBM) tumorigenesis. However, molecular agents targeting EGFR have demonstrated minimal efficacy in clinical trials, suggesting the existence of GBM resistance mechanisms. GBM cells with stem-like properties (CSCs) are highly efficient at tumor initiation and exhibit therapeutic resistance. In this study, GBMCSC lines showed sphere-forming and tumor initiation capacity after EGF withdrawal from cell culture media, compared with normal neural stem cells that rapidly perished after EGF withdrawal. Compensatory activation of related ERBB family receptors (ERBB2 and ERBB3) was observed in GBM CSCs deprived of EGFR signal (EGF deprivation or cetuximab inhibition), suggesting an intrinsic GBM resistance mechanism for EGFR-targeted therapy. Dual inhibition of EGFR and ERBB2 with lapatinib significantly reduced GBM proliferation in colony formation assays compared to cetuximab-mediated EGFR-specific inhibition. Phosphorylation of downstream ERBB signaling components (AKT, ERK1/2) and GBM CSC proliferation were inhibited by lapatinib. Collectively, these findings show that GBM therapeutic resistance to EGFR inhibitors may be explained by compensatory activation of EGFR-related family members (ERBB2, ERBB3) enabling GBM CSC proliferation, and therefore simultaneous blockade of multiple ERBB family members may be required for more efficacious GBM therapy.
Project description:We previously found that EGF (epidermal growth factor) increases the EGFR (EGF receptor) kinase-binding affinity towards the major tyrosine phosphorylation sites in downstream adaptor proteins such as Gab1 (Grb2-associated binding protein 1) and Shc [Src homology 2 (SH2) domain and collagen containing protein], but not that towards EGFR autophosphorylation sites [Fan, Wong, Deb and Johnson (2004) J. Biol. Chem. 279 , 38143-38150]. EGFR activation can also result in transphosphorylation of tyrosine resides in the C-terminal region of the related receptors ErbB2, ErbB3 and ErbB4 in heterodimers which are formed upon ligand stimulation. In the present study, we investigated the specificity of EGFR kinase by comparing the steady state kinetic parameters for peptides derived from all four ErbBs in the absence or presence of EGF. Our results demonstrated that (i) EGFR kinase can efficiently phosphorylate a broad range of diverse peptide sequences representing ErbB sites; (ii) certain ErbB2, ErbB3 and ErbB4 sites had higher specificity constants than any EGFR sequence and (iii) EGF stimulation consistently increases the k(cat) approx. 5-fold, but does not significantly alter the K(m) for any ErbB peptides. Furthermore, peptides containing lysine at position -2 or -3 N-terminal to the target tyrosine were found to be poor EGFR kinase substrates, and substitution of these lysines with glutamine decreased the K(m) and increased the k(cat) for these substrates. We conclude that EGFR kinase-mediated ErbB transphosphorylations are mostly controlled at the level of oligomerization, and not by a preference of the EGFR kinase for phosphorylation sites in any particular ErbB. The results also demonstrated that, unlike phosphorylation sites in select downstream targets, EGF does not regulate the recognition of phosphorylation sites in the C-terminal region of any of the ErbBs.
Project description:Human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) are being used as an in vitro model system in cardiac biology and in drug discovery (e.g., cardiotoxicity testing). Qualification of these cells for use in mechanistic investigations will require detailed evaluations of cardiomyocyte signaling pathways and cellular responses. ErbB signaling and the ligand neuregulin play critical roles in survival and functional integrity of cardiac myocytes. As such, we sought to characterize the expression and activity of the ErbB family of receptors. Antibody microarray analysis performed on cell lysates derived from maturing hiPSC-CMs detected expression of ?570 signaling proteins. EGFR/ErbB1, HER2/ErbB2, and ErbB4, but not ErbB3 receptors, of the epidermal growth factor receptor family were confirmed by Western blot. Activation of ErbB signaling by neuregulin-1? (NRG, a natural ligand for ErbB4) and its modulation by trastuzumab (a monoclonal anti-ErbB2 antibody) and lapatinib (a small molecule ErbB2 tyrosine kinase inhibitor) were evaluated through assessing phosphorylation of AKT and Erk1/2, two major downstream kinases of ErbB signaling, using nanofluidic proteomic immunoassay. Downregulation of ErbB2 expression by siRNA silencing attenuated NRG-induced AKT and Erk1/2 phosphorylation. Activation of ErbB signaling with NRG, or inhibition with trastuzumab, alleviated or aggravated doxorubicin-induced cardiomyocyte damage, respectively, as assessed by a real-time cellular impedance analysis and ATP measurement. Collectively, these results support the expanded use of hiPSC-CMs to examine mechanisms of cardiotoxicity and support the value of using these cells in early assessments of cardiotoxicity or efficacy.
Project description:In Schwann cells (SCs), cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) enhances the action of neuregulin, the most potent known mitogen for SCs, by synergistically increasing the activation of two crucial signaling pathways: ERK and Akt. However, the underlying mechanism of cross-talk between neuregulin and cAMP signaling remains mostly undefined. Here, we report that the activation of protein kinase A (PKA), but not that of exchange protein activated by cAMP (EPAC), enhances S-phase entry of SCs by synergistically enhancing the ligand-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation/activation of the neuregulin co-receptor, ErbB2-ErbB3. The role of PKA in neuregulin-ErbB signaling was confirmed using PKA inhibitors, pathway-selective cAMP analogs, and natural ligands stimulating PKA activity in SCs, such as adenosine and epinephrine. Two basic observations defined the synergistic action of PKA as "gating" for neuregulin-ErbB signaling: 1) the activation of PKA was not sufficient to induce S-phase entry or the activation of either ErbB2 or ErbB3; and 2) the presence of neuregulin was strictly required to ignite ErbB activation and thereby ERK and Akt signaling. However, PKA directly phosphorylated ErbB2 on Thr-686, a highly conserved intracellular regulatory site that was required for the PKA-mediated synergistic enhancement of neuregulin-induced ErbB2-ErbB3 activation and proliferation in SCs. The gating action of PKA on neuregulin-induced ErbB2-ErbB3 activation has important biological significance, because it insures signal amplification into the ERK and Akt pathways without compromising either the neuregulin dependence or the high specificity of ErbB signaling pathways.
Project description:ErbB2 and ErbB3, members of the EGF receptor/ErbB family, form a heterodimer upon binding of a ligand, inducing the activation of Rac small G protein and Akt protein kinase for cell movement and survival, respectively. The enhanced ErbB3/ErbB2 signaling causes tumorigenesis, invasion, and metastasis. We found here that the ErbB3/ErbB2 signaling is regulated by immunoglobulin-like Necl-2, which is down-regulated in various cancer cells and serves as a tumor suppressor. The extracellular region of ErbB3, but not ErbB2, interacted in cis with that of Necl-2. This interaction reduced the ligand-induced, ErbB2-catalyzed tyrosine phosphorylation of ErbB3 and inhibited the consequent ErbB3-mediated activation of Rac and Akt, resulting in the inhibition of cancer cell movement and survival. These inhibitory effects of Necl-2 were mediated by the protein-tyrosine phosphatase PTPN13 which interacted with the cytoplasmic tail of Necl-2. We describe here this novel mechanism for silencing of the ErbB3/ErbB2 signaling by Necl-2.
Project description:Nucleic acid aptamers are rapidly gaining prominence as diagnostic tools, targeting reagents, and potential therapeutics. To extend the use of aptamers into the biochemical analysis of protein interactions on the surface of live cells, we converted an enzymatically generated RNA aptamer into a photo-cross-linkable affinity tag through the replacement of all uracils with 4-thiouracil. Specifically, we converted a previously selected, inhibitory aptamer that binds the soluble extracellular domains of the ERBB3 receptor into a targeted and highly specific cross-linking reagent in a live cell setting. Since the photo-cross-linkable aptamer has two functionalities, targeted and highly selective as well as unspecific cross-linking capability, the attachment of this inhibitory aptamer converts ERBB3 into a passive and signaling incompetent probe of its immediate receptor environment. This approach detects receptor clustering of endogenous ERBB3 in the breast cancer cell line MCF7 at levels as low as 25000 receptors per cell and at aptamer concentrations as low as 20 nM. Our analysis also indicates that ERBB3 receptors are apparently segregated from ERBB2 receptors in their resting state, and both ligand-activated ERBB3 and ERBB2 do not share the same microenvironment as inactive ERBB3.