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Biochem J. 1997 Sep 1;326 ( Pt 2):369-76.

Nitric oxide reversibly inhibits the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase.

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  • 1Departamento de Fisiología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.


Although it has been demonstrated that NO inhibits the proliferation of different cell types, the mechanisms of its anti-mitotic action are not well understood. In this work we have studied the possible interaction of NO with the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), using transfected fibroblasts which overexpress the human EGFR. The NO donors S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP), 1,1-diethyl-2-hydroxy-2-nitrosohydrazine (DEA-NO) and N-{4-[1-(3-aminopropyl)-2-hydroxy-2-nitrosohydrazino]butyl}propane -1, 3-diamine (DETA-NO) inhibited DNA synthesis of fibroblasts growing in the presence of fetal calf serum, epidermal growth factor (EGF) or EGF plus insulin, as assessed by [methyl-3H]thymidine incorporation. Neither 8-bromo-cGMP nor the cGMP-phosphodiesterase inhibitor zaprinast mimicked this effect, suggesting that NO is unlikely to inhibit cell proliferation via a cGMP-dependent pathway. SNAP, DEA-NO and DETA-NO also inhibited the transphosphorylation of the EGFR and its tyrosine kinase activity toward the exogenous substrate poly-l-(Glu-Tyr), as measured in permeabilized cells using [gamma-32P]ATP as phosphate donor. In contrast, 3-[morpholinosydnonimine hydrochloride] (SIN-1), a peroxynitrite-forming compound, did not significantly inhibit either DNA synthesis or the EGFR tyrosine kinase activity. The inhibitory action of DEA-NO on the EGFR tyrosine kinase was prevented by haemoglobin, an NO scavenger, but not by superoxide dismutase, and was reversed by dithiothreitol. The binding of EGF to its receptor was unaffected by DEA-NO. The inhibitory action of DEA-NO on the EGF-dependent transphosphorylation of the receptor was also demonstrated in intact cells by immunoblot analysis using an anti-phosphotyrosine antibody. Taken together, these results suggest that NO, but not peroxynitrite, inhibits in a reversible manner the EGFR tyrosine kinase activity by S-nitrosylation of the receptor.

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