Spatially defined EGF receptor activation reveals an F-actin-dependent phospho-Erk signaling complex.
ABSTRACT: We investigated the association of signaling proteins with epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptors (EGFR) using biotinylated EGF bound to streptavidin that is covalently coupled in an ordered array of micron-sized features on silicon surfaces. Using NIH-3T3 cells stably expressing EGFR, we observe concentration of fluorescently labeled receptors and stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation that are spatially confined to the regions of immobilized EGF and quantified by cross-correlation analysis. We observe recruitment of phosphorylated paxillin to activated EGFR at these patterned features, as well as ?1-containing integrins that preferentially localize to more peripheral EGF features, as quantified by radial fluorescence analysis. In addition, we detect recruitment of EGFP-Ras, MEK, and phosphorylated Erk to patterned EGF in a process that depends on F-actin and phosphoinositides. These studies reveal and quantify the coformation of multiprotein EGFR signaling complexes at the plasma membrane in response to micropatterned growth factors.
Project description:Upon activation, the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor becomes phosphorylated and triggers a vast signaling network that has profound effects on cell growth. The EGF receptor is observed to assemble into clusters after ligand binding and tyrosine kinase autophosphorylation, but the role of these assemblies in the receptor signaling pathway remains unclear. To address this question, we measured the phosphorylation of EGFR when the EGF ligand was anchored onto laterally mobile and immobile surfaces. We found that cells generated clusters of ligand-receptor complex on mobile EGF surfaces, and displayed a lower ratio of phosphorylated EGFR to EGF when compared to immobilized EGF that is unable to cluster. This result was verified by tuning the lateral assembly of ligand-receptor complexes on the surface of living cells using patterned supported lipid bilayers. Nanoscale metal lines fabricated into the supported membrane constrained lipid diffusion and EGF receptor assembly into micron and sub-micron scale corrals. Single cell analysis indicated that clustering impacts EGF receptor activation, and larger clusters (>1 ?m(2)) of ligand-receptor complex generated lower EGF receptor phosphorylation per ligand than smaller assemblies (<1 ?m(2)) in HCC1143 cells that were engaged to ligand-functionalized surfaces. We investigated the mechanism of EGFR clustering by treating cells with compounds that disrupt the cytoskeleton (Latrunculin B), clathrin-mediated endocytosis (Pitstop2), and inhibit EGFR activation (Gefitinib). These results help elucidate the nature of large-scale EGFR clustering, thus underscoring the general significance of receptor spatial organization in tuning biochemical function.
Project description:Growth factor binding to EGFR drives conformational changes that promote homodimerization and transphosphorylation, followed by adaptor recruitment, oligomerization, and signaling through Ras. Whether specific receptor conformations and oligomerization states are necessary for efficient activation of Ras is unclear. We therefore evaluated the sufficiency of a phosphorylated EGFR dimer to activate Ras without growth factor by developing a chemical-genetic strategy to crosslink and "trap" full-length EGFR homodimers on cells. Trapped dimers become phosphorylated and recruit adaptor proteins at stoichiometry equivalent to that of EGF-stimulated receptors. Surprisingly, these phosphorylated dimers do not activate Ras, Erk, or Akt. In the absence of EGF, phosphorylated dimers do not further oligomerize or reorganize on cell membranes. These results suggest that a phosphorylated EGFR dimer loaded with core signaling adapters is not sufficient to activate Ras and that EGFR ligands contribute to conformational changes or receptor dynamics necessary for oligomerization and efficient signal propagation through the SOS-Ras-MAPK pathway.
Project description:The identification of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) as an oncogene has led to the development of several anticancer therapeutics directed against this receptor tyrosine kinase. However, drug resistance and low efficacy remain a severe challenge, and have led to a demand for novel systems for an efficient identification and characterization of new substances. Here we report on a technique which combines micro-patterned surfaces and total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy (?-patterning assay) for the quantitative analysis of EGFR activity. It does not simply measure the phosphorylation of the receptor, but instead quantifies the interaction of the key signal transmitting protein Grb2 (growth factor receptor-bound protein 2) with the EGFR in a live cell context. It was possible to demonstrate an EGF dependent recruitment of Grb2 to the EGFR, which was significantly inhibited in the presence of clinically tested EGFR inhibitors, including small tyrosine kinase inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies targeting the EGF binding site. Importantly, in addition to its potential use as a screening tool, our experimental setup offers the possibility to provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of bait-prey interaction. Recruitment of the EGFR together with Grb2 to clathrin coated pits (CCPs) was found to be a key feature in our assay. Application of bleaching experiments enabled calculation of the Grb2 exchange rate, which significantly changed upon stimulation or the presence of EGFR activity inhibiting drugs.
Project description:Adaptor protein Grb2 binds phosphotyrosines in the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) and thereby links receptor activation to intracellular signaling cascades. Here, we investigated how recruitment of Grb2 to EGFR is affected by the spatial organization and quaternary state of activated EGFR. We used the techniques of image correlation spectroscopy (ICS) and lifetime-detected Förster resonance energy transfer (also known as FLIM-based FRET or FLIM-FRET) to measure ligand-induced receptor clustering and Grb2 binding to activated EGFR in BaF/3 cells. BaF/3 cells were stably transfected with fluorescently labeled forms of Grb2 (Grb2-mRFP) and EGFR (EGFR-eGFP). Following stimulation of the cells with EGF, we detected nanometer-scale association of Grb2-mRFP with EGFR-eGFP clusters, which contained, on average, 4 ± 1 copies of EGFR-eGFP per cluster. In contrast, the pool of EGFR-eGFP without Grb2-mRFP had an average cluster size of 1 ± 0.3 EGFR molecules per punctum. In the absence of EGF, there was no association between EGFR-eGFP and Grb2-mRFP. To interpret these data, we extended our recently developed model for EGFR activation, which considers EGFR oligomerization up to tetramers, to include recruitment of Grb2 to phosphorylated EGFR. The extended model, with adjustment of one new parameter (the ratio of the Grb2 and EGFR copy numbers), is consistent with a cluster size distribution where 2% of EGFR monomers, 5% of EGFR dimers, <1% of EGFR trimers, and 94% of EGFR tetramers are associated with Grb2. Together, our experimental and modeling results further implicate tetrameric EGFR as the key signaling unit and call into question the widely held view that dimeric EGFR is the predominant signaling unit.
Project description:Cylindromatosis tumor suppressor protein (CYLD) is a deubiquitinase, best known as an essential negative regulator of the NFkB pathway. Previous studies have suggested an involvement of CYLD in epidermal growth factor (EGF)-dependent signal transduction as well, as it was found enriched within the tyrosine-phosphorylated complexes in cells stimulated with the growth factor. EGF receptor (EGFR) signaling participates in central cellular processes and its tight regulation, partly through ubiquitination cascades, is decisive for a balanced cellular homeostasis. Here, using a combination of mass spectrometry-based quantitative proteomic approaches with biochemical and immunofluorescence strategies, we demonstrate the involvement of CYLD in the regulation of the ubiquitination events triggered by EGF. Our data show that CYLD regulates the magnitude of ubiquitination of several major effectors of the EGFR pathway by assisting the recruitment of the ubiquitin ligase Cbl-b to the activated EGFR complex. Notably, CYLD facilitates the interaction of EGFR with Cbl-b through its Tyr15 phosphorylation in response to EGF, which leads to fine-tuning of the receptor's ubiquitination and subsequent degradation. This represents a previously uncharacterized strategy exerted by this deubiquitinase and tumors suppressor for the negative regulation of a tumorigenic signaling pathway.
Project description:Micropatterned poly(dimethylsiloxane) substrates fabricated by soft lithography led to large-scale orientation of myoblasts in culture, thereby controlling the orientation of the myotubes they formed. Fusion occurred on many chemically identical surfaces in which varying structures were arranged in square or hexagonal lattices, but only a subset of patterned surfaces yielded aligned myotubes. Remarkably, on some substrates, large populations of myotubes oriented at a reproducible acute angle to the lattice of patterned features. A simple geometrical model predicts the angle and extent of orientation based on maximizing the contact area between the myoblasts and patterned topographic surfaces. Micropatterned substrates also provided short-range cues that influenced higher-order functions such as the localization of focal adhesions and accumulation of postsynaptic acetylcholine receptors. Our results represent what we believe is a new approach for musculoskeletal tissue engineering, and our model sheds light on mechanisms of myotube alignment in vivo.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Endothelialization of small diameter synthetic vascular grafts is a potential solution to the thrombosis and intimal hyperplasia that plague current devices. Endothelial colony forming cells, which are blood-derived and similar to mature endothelial cells, are a potential cell source. Anisotropic spatial growth restriction micropatterning has been previously shown to affect the morphology and function of mature endothelial cells in a manner similar to unidirectional fluid shear stress. To date, endothelial colony forming cells have not been successfully micropatterned. This study addresses the hypothesis that micropatterning of endothelial colony forming cells will induce morphological elongation, cytoskeletal alignment, and changes in immunogenic and thrombogenic-related gene expression.<h4>Methods</h4>Spatially growth restrictive test surfaces with 25 ?m-wide lanes alternating between collagen-I and a blocking polymer were created using microfluidics. Case-matched endothelial colony forming cells and control mature carotid endothelial cells were statically cultured on either micropatterned or non-patterned surfaces. Cell elongation was quantified using shape index. Using confocal microscopy, cytoskeletal alignment was visualized and density and apoptotic rate were determined. Gene expression was measured using quantitative PCR to measure KLF-2, eNOS, VCAM-1, and vWF.<h4>Results</h4>Endothelial colony forming cells were successfully micropatterned for up to 50 hours. Micropatterned cells displayed elongation and actin alignment. Micropatterning increased the packing densities of both cell types, but did not affect apoptotic rate, which was lower in endothelial colony forming cells. KLF-2 gene expression was increased in micropatterned relative to non-patterned endothelial colony forming cells after 50 hours. No significant differences were seen in the other genes tested.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Endothelial colony forming cells can be durably micropatterned using spatial growth restriction. Micropatterning has a significant effect on the gross and subcellular morphologies of both cell types. Further study is required to fully understand the effect of micropatterning on endothelial colony forming cell gene expression.
Project description:Despite the importance of ADAM17-dependent cleavage in normal biology and disease, the physiological cues that trigger its activity, the effector pathways that promote its function, and the mechanisms that control its activity, particularly the role of phosphorylation, remain unresolved. Using native bladder epithelium, in some cases transduced with adenoviruses encoding small interfering RNA, we observe that stimulation of apically localized A1 adenosine receptors (A1ARs) triggers a Gi-Gβγ-phospholipase C-protein kinase C (PKC) cascade that promotes ADAM17-dependent HB-EGF cleavage, EGFR transactivation, and apical exocytosis. We further show that the cytoplasmic tail of rat ADAM17 contains a conserved serine residue at position 811, which resides in a canonical PKC phosphorylation site, and is phosphorylated in response to A1AR activation. Preventing this phosphorylation event by expression of a nonphosphorylatable ADAM17(S811A) mutant or expression of a tail-minus construct inhibits A1AR-stimulated, ADAM17-dependent HB-EGF cleavage. Furthermore, expression of ADAM17(S811A) in bladder tissues impairs A1AR-induced apical exocytosis. We conclude that adenosine-stimulated exocytosis requires PKC- and ADAM17-dependent EGFR transactivation and that the function of ADAM17 in this pathway depends on the phosphorylation state of Ser-811 in its cytoplasmic domain.
Project description:Engineering of organized vasculature is a crucial step in the development of functional and clinically relevant tissue constructs. A number of previous techniques have been proposed to spatially regulate the distribution of angiogenic biomolecules and vascular cells within biomaterial matrices to promote vascularization. Most of these approaches have been limited to two-dimensional (2D) micropatterned features or have resulted in formation of random vasculature within three-dimensional (3D) microenvironments. In this study, we investigate 3D endothelial cord formation within micropatterned gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) hydrogels with varying geometrical features (50-150 ?m height). We demonstrated the significant dependence of endothelial cells proliferation, alignment and cord formation on geometrical dimensions of the patterned features. The cells were able to align and organize within the micropatterned constructs and assemble to form cord structures with organized actin fibers and circular/elliptical cross-sections. The inner layer of the cord structure was filled with gel showing that the micropatterned hydrogel constructs guided the assembly of endothelial cells into cord structures. Notably, the endothelial cords were retained within the hydrogel microconstructs for all geometries after two weeks of culture; however, only the 100 ?m-high constructs provided the optimal microenvironment for the formation of circular and stable cord structures. Our findings suggest that endothelial cord formation is a preceding step to tubulogenesis and the proposed system can be used to develop organized vasculature for engineered tissue constructs.
Project description:In an attempt to identify the cell-associated protein(s) through which SMOC (Secreted Modular Calcium binding protein) induces mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) became a candidate. However, although in 32D/EGFR cells, the EGFR was phosphorylated in the presence of a commercially available human SMOC-1 (hSMOC-1), only minimal phosphorylation was observed in the presence of Xenopus SMOC-1 (XSMOC-1) or human SMOC-2. Analysis of the commercial hSMOC-1 product demonstrated the presence of pro-EGF as an impurity. When the pro-EGF was removed, only minimal EGFR activation was observed, indicating that SMOC does not signal primarily through EGFR and its receptor remains unidentified. Investigation of SMOC/pro-EGF binding affinity revealed a strong interaction that does not require the C-terminal extracellular calcium-binding (EC) domain of SMOC or the EGF domain of pro-EGF. SMOC does not appear to potentiate or inhibit MAPK signaling in response to pro-EGF, but the interaction could provide a mechanism for retaining soluble pro-EGF at the cell surface.