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J Biol Chem. 1996 Nov 1;271(44):27456-61.

Controlling epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated Ras activation in intact cells by a cell-permeable peptide mimicking phosphorylated EGF receptor.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232-2363, USA.


Epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated Ras activation involves specific interactions between the EGF receptor (EGFR), the adaptor proteins Grb2 and Shc, and the nucleotide exchange factor Sos-1. Study and control of these protein-protein interactions in vivo can be greatly promoted by introducing intracellular reagents that mimic EGFR functions. Here, we showed that a synthetic phosphopeptide encompassing the autophosphorylation site 1068 of EGFR formed a complex with endogenous Grb2 after this peptide was delivered into intact cells by a cell-permeable peptide import technique. Consequently, this intracellular peptide inhibited EGF-induced EGFR/Grb2 associations but not EGFR/Shc or Shc/Grb2 associations. Peptide-mediated disruption of the EGF/Grb2/Sos-1 cascade led to reduced Ras activation and mitogen-activated protein kinase activation. These results indicate that the binding of Grb2 to the phosphorylated Tyr-1068 of EGFR is crucial to the EGF-induced Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. The application of cell-permeable peptides to this study demonstrates a useful biochemical tool to probe and control various intracellular processes involved in signal transduction and gene transcription.

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