Live-cell fluorescence imaging reveals high stoichiometry of Grb2 binding to the EGF receptor sustained during endocytosis.
ABSTRACT: Activation of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) leads to its interaction with Grb2, a dual-function adapter mediating both signaling through Ras and receptor endocytosis. We used time-lapse three-dimensional imaging by spinning disk confocal microscopy to analyze trafficking of EGFR and Grb2 in living HeLa cells stimulated with low, physiological concentrations of EGFR ligands. Endogenous Grb2 was replaced in these cells by Grb2 fused to yellow fluorescent protein (YFP). After transient residence in the plasma membrane, Rhodamine-conjugated EGF (EGF-Rh) and Grb2-YFP were rapidly internalized and accumulated in endosomes. Quantitative image analysis revealed that on average two Grb2-YFP molecules were colocalized with one EGF-Rh in cells stimulated with 2 ng/ml EGF-Rh, and the excess of Grb2-YFP over EGF-Rh was even higher when a receptor-saturating concentration of EGF-Rh was used. Therefore, we hypothesize that a single EGFR molecule can be simultaneously associated with functionally distinct Grb2 interaction partners during and after endocytosis. Continuous presence of Grb2-YFP in endosomes was also observed when EGFR was activated by transforming growth factor-α and amphiregulin, suggesting that endosomal EGFRs remain ligand occupied and signaling competent, despite the fact that these growth factors are thought to dissociate from the receptor at acidic pH. The prolonged localization and activity of EGFR-Grb2 complexes in endosomes correlated with the sustained activation of extracellular stimulus-regulated kinase 1/2, suggesting that endosomal EGFRs contribute significantly to this signaling pathway. We propose that endosomal EGFRs function to extend signaling in time and space to compensate for rapid downregulation of surface EGFRs in cells with low receptor expression levels.
Project description:Activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) triggers multiple signaling pathways and rapid endocytosis of the epidermal growth factor (EGF)-receptor complexes. To directly visualize the compartmentalization of molecules involved in the major signaling cascade, activation of Ras GTPase, we constructed fusions of Grb2, Shc, H-Ras, and K-Ras with enhanced cyan fluorescent protein (CFP) or yellow fluorescent protein (YFP), and used live-cell fluorescence imaging microscopy combined with the fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) technique. Stimulation of cells by EGF resulted in the accumulation of large pools of Grb2-CFP and YFP-Shc in endosomes, where these two adaptor proteins formed a complex with EGFR. H-Ras and K-Ras fusion proteins were found at the plasma membrane, particularly in ruffles and lamellipodia, and also in endosomes independently of GTP/GDP loading and EGF stimulation. The relative amount of endosomal H-Ras was higher than that of K-Ras, whereas K-Ras predominated at the plasma membrane. On application of EGF, Grb2, and Ras converge in the same endosomes through the fusion of endosomes containing either Grb2 or Ras or through the joint internalization of two proteins from the plasma membrane. To examine the localization of the GTP-bound form of Ras, we used a FRET assay that exploits the specific interaction of GTP-bound CFP-Ras with the YFP-fused Ras binding domain of c-Raf. FRET microscopy revealed that GTP-bound Ras is located at the plasma membrane, mainly in ruffles and at the cell edges, as well as in endosomes containing EGFR. These data point to the potential for endosomes to serve as sites of generation for persistent signaling through Ras.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulates rapid tyrosine phosphorylation of the EGF receptor (EGFR). This event precedes signaling from both the plasma membrane and from endosomes, and it is essential for recruitment of a ubiquitin ligase, CBL, that sorts activated receptors to endosomes and degradation. Because hyperphosphorylation of EGFR is involved in oncogenic pathways, we performed an unbiased screen of small interfering RNA (siRNA) oligonucleotides targeting all human tyrosine phosphatases. RESULTS:We report the identification of PTPRK and PTPRJ (density-enhanced phosphatase-1 [DEP-1]) as EGFR-targeting phosphatases. DEP-1 is a tumor suppressor that dephosphorylates and thereby stabilizes EGFR by hampering its ability to associate with the CBL-GRB2 ubiquitin ligase complex. DEP-1 silencing enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of endosomal EGFRs and, accordingly, increased cell proliferation. In line with functional interactions, EGFR and DEP-1 form physical associations, and EGFR phosphorylates a substrate-trapping mutant of DEP-1. Interestingly, the interactions of DEP-1 and EGFR are followed by physical segregation: whereas EGFR undergoes endocytosis, DEP-1 remains confined to the cell surface. CONCLUSIONS:EGFR and DEP-1 physically interact at the cell surface and maintain bidirectional enzyme-substrate interactions, which are relevant to their respective oncogenic and tumor-suppressive functions. These observations highlight the emerging roles of vesicular trafficking in malignant processes.
Project description:The endosomal sorting complexes required for transport, ESCRT-I, -II, and -III, are thought to mediate the biogenesis of multivesicular endosomes (MVEs) and endosomal sorting of ubiquitinated membrane proteins. Here, we have compared the importance of the ESCRT-I subunit tumor susceptibility gene 101 (Tsg101) and the ESCRT-III subunit hVps24/CHMP3 for endosomal functions and receptor signaling. Like Tsg101, endogenous hVps24 localized mainly to late endosomes. Depletion of hVps24 by siRNA showed that this ESCRT subunit, like Tsg101, is important for degradation of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) and for transport of the receptor from early endosomes to lysosomes. Surprisingly, however, whereas depletion of Tsg101 caused sustained EGF activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, depletion of hVps24 had no such effect. Moreover, depletion of Tsg101 but not of hVps24 caused a major fraction of internalized EGF to accumulate in nonacidified endosomes. Electron microscopy of hVps24-depleted cells showed an accumulation of EGFRs in MVEs that were significantly smaller than those in control cells, probably because of an impaired fusion with lyso-bisphosphatidic acid-positive late endosomes/lysosomes. Together, our results reveal functional differences between ESCRT-I and ESCRT-III in degradative protein trafficking and indicate that degradation of the EGFR is not required for termination of its signaling.
Project description:Activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) not only initiates multiple signal-transduction pathways, including the MAP kinase (MAPK) pathway, but also triggers trafficking events that relocalize receptors from the cell surface to intracellular endocytic compartments. In this paper, we demonstrate that leucine-rich repeat kinase LRRK1, which contains a MAPKKK-like kinase domain, forms a complex with activated EGFR through an interaction with Grb2. Subsequently, LRRK1 and epidermal growth factor (EGF) are internalized and co-localized in early endosomes. LRRK1 regulates EGFR transport from early to late endosomes and regulates the motility of EGF-containing early endosomes in a manner dependent on its kinase activity. Furthermore, LRRK1 serves as a scaffold facilitating the interaction of EGFR with the endosomal sorting complex required for transport-0 complex, thus enabling efficient sorting of EGFR to the inner vesicles of multivesicular bodies. Our findings provide the first evidence that a MAPKKK-like protein regulates the endosomal trafficking of EGFR.
Project description:Early sorting endosomes are responsible for the trafficking and function of transferrin receptor (TfR) and EGFR. These receptors play important roles in iron uptake and signaling and are critical for breast cancer development. However, the role of morphology, receptor composition, and signaling of early endosomes in breast cancer remains poorly understood. A novel population of enlarged early endosomes was identified in breast cancer cells and tumor xenografts but not in noncancerous MCF10A cells. Quantitative analysis of endosomal morphology, cargo sorting, EGFR activation, and Rab GTPase regulation was performed using super-resolution and confocal microscopy followed by 3D rendering. MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells have fewer, but larger EEA1-positive early endosomes compared with MCF10A cells. Live-cell imaging indicated dysregulated cargo sorting, because EGF and Tf traffic together via enlarged endosomes in MDA-MB-231, but not in MCF10A. Large EEA1-positive MDA-MB-231 endosomes exhibited prolonged and increased EGF-induced activation of EGFR upon phosphorylation at tyrosine-1068 (EGFR-p1068). Rab4A overexpression in MCF10A cells produced EEA1-positive enlarged endosomes that displayed prolonged and amplified EGF-induced EGFR-p1068 activation. Knockdown of Rab4A lead to increased endosomal size in MCF10A, but not in MDA-MB-231 cells. Nevertheless, Rab4A knockdown resulted in enhanced EGF-induced activation of EGFR-p1068 in MDA-MB-231 as well as downstream signaling in MCF10A cells. Altogether, this extensive characterization of early endosomes in breast cancer cells has identified a Rab4-modulated enlarged early endosomal compartment as the site of prolonged and increased EGFR activation. IMPLICATIONS: Enlarged early endosomes play a Rab4-modulated role in regulation of EGFR activation in breast cancer cells.
Project description:RhoU is an atypical Rho family member with high homology to CDC42 but containing unique N- and C-terminal extensions. The mechanisms regulating RhoU activation, as well as its downstream effectors, are not fully characterized. We show that after epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulation RhoU colocalizes with EGF receptor (EGFR) on endosomes, which requires both its N- and C-terminal extension sequences. Moreover, RhoU physically associates with activated EGFR in a GRB2-dependent manner through specific proline-rich motifs within its N-terminus. Mutation of these proline-rich sequences or suppression of GRB2 by RNA interference abrogates the interaction of RhoU with activated EGFR, as well as EGF-stimulated RhoU GTP binding. In addition, RhoU is involved in EGFR-mediated signaling, leading to AP1 transcriptional activity and cell migration in pancreatic cancer cells, events that require its interaction with the Grb2-EGFR complex. Taken together, the data suggest a unique regulatory mechanism by which RhoU interaction with SH3 adaptor proteins might serve to integrate growth factor receptor signaling with RhoU activation.
Project description:Activation of EGF-R and PDGF-R triggers autophosphorylation and the recruitment of Eps15 and Hrs. These two endosomal proteins are important for specific receptor sorting. Hrs is recruiting ubiquitinated receptors to early endosomes to further facilitate degradation through the ESCRT complex. Upon receptor activation Hrs becomes phosphorylated and is relocated to the cytosol, important for receptor degradation. In this work we have studied the endosomal binding dynamics of Eps15 and Hrs upon EGF-R and PDGF-R stimulation. By analysing the fluorescence intensity on single endosomes after ligand stimulation we measured a time-specific decrease in the endosomal fluorescence level of Eps15-GFP and Hrs-YFP. Through FRAP experiments we could further register a specific change in the endosomal-membrane to cytosol binding properties of Eps15-GFP and Hrs-YFP. This specific change in membrane fractions proved to be a redistribution of the immobile fraction, which was not shown for the phosphorylation deficient mutants. We here describe a mechanism that can explain the previously observed relocation of Hrs from the endosomes to cytosol after EGF stimulation and show that Eps15 follows a similar mechanism. Moreover, this specific redistribution of the endosomal protein binding dynamics proved to be of major importance for receptor degradation.
Project description:It is becoming increasingly clear that intracellular signaling can be subject to strict spatial control. As the covalent attachment of a signaling ligand to a nanoparticle (NP) impacts ligand-receptor binding, uptake, and trafficking, nanoconjugation provides new opportunities for manipulating intracellular signaling in a controlled fashion. To establish the effect of nanoconjugation on epidermal growth factor (EGF) mediated signaling, we investigate here the intracellular fate of nanoconjugated EGF (NP-EGF) and its bound receptor (EGFR) by quantitative correlated darkfield/fluorescence microscopy and density-based endosomal fractionation. We demonstrate that nanoconjugation prolongs the dwell time of phosphorylated receptors in the early endosomes and that the retention of activated EGFR in the early endosomes is accompanied by an EGF mediated apoptosis at effective concentrations that do not induce apoptosis in the case of free EGF. Overall, these findings indicate nanoconjugation as a rational strategy for modifying signaling that acts by modulating the temporo-spatial distribution of the activated EGF-EGFR ligand-receptor complex.
Project description:Lysosomal degradation is essential for the termination of EGF-stimulated EGF receptor (EGFR) signaling. This requires EGFR sorting to the intraluminal vesicles (ILVs) of multi-vesicular endosomes (MVEs). Cytosolic proteins including the ESCRT machineries are key regulators of EGFR intraluminal sorting, but roles for endosomal transmembrane proteins in receptor sorting are poorly defined. Here, we show that LAPTM4B, an endosomal transmembrane oncoprotein, inhibits EGF-induced EGFR intraluminal sorting and lysosomal degradation, leading to enhanced and prolonged EGFR signaling. LAPTM4B blocks EGFR sorting by promoting ubiquitination of Hrs (an ESCRT-0 subunit), which inhibits the Hrs association with ubiquitinated EGFR. This is counteracted by the endosomal PIP kinase, PIPKI?i5, which directly binds LAPTM4B and neutralizes the inhibitory function of LAPTM4B in EGFR sorting by generating PtdIns(4,5)P2 and recruiting SNX5. PtdIns(4,5)P2 and SNX5 function together to protect Hrs from ubiquitination, thereby promoting EGFR intraluminal sorting. These results reveal an essential layer of EGFR trafficking regulated by LAPTM4B, PtdIns(4,5)P2 signaling, and the ESCRT complex and define a mechanism by which the oncoprotein LAPTM4B can transform cells and promote tumor progression.
Project description:EGF complexed to fluorescent photostable quantum dots by biotin-streptavidin system (bEGF-savQD) is attractive for both the basic research and therapeutic application such as targeted drug delivery in EGF-receptor (EGFR) expressing cancers. However, compared to native EGF, the large size of QD and its quasi-multivalency can have unpredictable effects on EGFR endocytosis changing the internalization portal and/or endosomal processing tightly bound to EGF signaling. We have found that bEGF-savQDs enter HeLa cells via the temperature-dependent clathrin-mediated EGF-receptor-specific pathway characteristic for native EGF. We also found that EGF-to-QD concentration ratios used for the complex preparation and the level of EGF receptor expression affect the number and integral densities of the formed endosomes. So, at EGF-to-QD ratio from 4:1 to 12:1 (at nanomolar bEGF concentrations) on average 100 bright endosomes per HeLa cell were formed 15 min after the complex addition, while 1:1 ratio resulted in formation of very few dim endosomes. However, in A431 cells overexpressing EGFR 1:1 ratio was effective. Using dynamin inhibition and Na-acidic washout we showed that bEGF-savQDs bind surface receptors and enter clathrin-coated pits slower than the same ligands without QD. Yet, the bEGF-savQD demonstrated similar to native EGF and bEGF-savCy3 co-localization dynamics with tethering protein EEA1 and HRS, the key component of sorting ESCRT0 complex. In conclusion, our comparative study reveals that in respect to entrapment into coated pits, endosomal recruitment, endosome fusions, and the initial steps of endosomal maturation, bEGF-savQD behaves like native EGF and QD implementation does not affect these important events.