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Biochemistry. 2002 Jul 9;41(27):8732-41.

Role of the N-terminus of epidermal growth factor in ErbB-2/ErbB-3 binding studied by phage display.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, University of Nijmegen, Toernooiveld 1, 6525 ED Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Epidermal growth factor (EGF) binds with high affinity to the EGF receptor, also known as ErbB-1, but upon replacement of the N-terminal linear region by neuregulin (NRG) 1 or transforming growth factor (TGF) alpha sequences it gains in addition high affinity for ErbB-2/ErbB-3 heterodimers. However, these chimeras weakly bind to ErbB-3 alone. To further dissect the ligand binding selectivity of the ErbB network, we have applied the phage display technique to examine the role of the linear N-terminal region in EGF for interaction with ErbB-2/ErbB-3 heterodimers. A library of EGF variants was constructed in which residues 2, 3, and 4 were randomly mutated, followed by selection for binding to intact MDA-MB-453 cells that overexpress ErbB-2 and ErbB-3 but lack ErbB-1. Analysis of the selected phage EGF variants revealed clones with high binding affinity to ErbB-2/ErbB-3 while maintaining high affinity to ErbB-1. In these variants, Trp (or alternatively His) was almost exclusively present at position 2, while specific combinations of hydrophobic, basic, and small residues were found at positions 3 and 4. The mitogenic activity of the phage EGF variants corresponded with their relative binding affinity. Two of the selected EGF variants, EGF/WVS and EGF/WRS, were further characterized as recombinant proteins. In contrast to previously characterized chimeras of EGF with NRG-1 or TGF-alpha, these variants did not only show high binding affinity for ErbB-2/ErbB-3 heterodimers but also for ErbB-3 alone. These data show that the linear N-terminal region of EGF-like growth factors is directly involved in binding to ErbB-3.

PMID:
12093292
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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