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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 1999 Jun;31(6):637-43.

EGF receptor.

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Department of Pathology, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294-0007, USA.


The receptor for the epidermal growth factor (EGF) and related ligands (EGFR), the prototypal member of the superfamily of receptors with intrinsic tyrosine kinase activity, is widely expressed on many cell types, including epithelial and mesenchymal lineages. Upon activation by at least five genetically distinct ligands (including EGF, transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF alpha) and heparin-binding EGF (HB-EGF)), the intrinsic kinase is activated and EGFR tyrosyl-phosphorylates itself and numerous intermediary effector molecules, including closely-related c-erbB receptor family members. This initiates myriad signaling pathways, some of which attenuate receptor signaling. The integrated biological responses to EGFR signaling are pleiotropic including mitogenesis or apoptosis, enhanced cell motility, protein secretion, and differentiation or dedifferentiation. In addition to being implicated in organ morphogenesis, maintenance and repair, upregulated EGFR signaling has been correlated in a wide variety of tumors with progression to invasion and metastasis. Thus, EGFR and its downstream signaling molecules' are targets for therapeutic interventions in wound repair and cancer.

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