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J Proteome Res. 2011 Mar 4;10(3):1343-52. doi: 10.1021/pr101075e. Epub 2011 Feb 14.

Analysis of phosphotyrosine signaling in glioblastoma identifies STAT5 as a novel downstream target of ΔEGFR.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


An in-frame deletion mutation in Epidermal Growth Receptor (EGFR), ΔEGFR is a common and potent oncogene in glioblastoma (GBM), promoting growth and survival of cancer cells. This mutated receptor is ligand independent and constitutively active. Its activity is low in intensity and thought to be qualitatively different from acutely ligand stimulated wild-type receptor implying that the preferred downstream targets of ΔEGFR play a significant role in malignancy. To understand the ΔEGFR signal, we compared it to that of a kinase-inactivated mutant of ΔEGFR and wild-type EGFR with shotgun phosphoproteomics using an electron-transfer dissociation (ETD) enabled ion trap mass spectrometer. We identified and quantified 354 phosphopeptides corresponding to 249 proteins. Among the ΔEGFR-associated phosphorylations were the previously described Gab1, c-Met and Mig-6, and also novel phosphorylations including that of STAT5 on Y694/9. We have confirmed the most prominent phosphorylation events in cultured cells and in murine xenograft models of glioblastoma. Pathway analysis of these proteins suggests a preference for an alternative signal transduction pathway by ΔEGFR compared to wild-type EGFR. This understanding will potentially benefit the search for new therapeutic targets for ΔEGFR expressing tumors.

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