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Cancer Res. 2000 Jul 1;60(13):3384-8.

Tumor-inhibitory antibodies to HER-2/ErbB-2 may act by recruiting c-Cbl and enhancing ubiquitination of HER-2.

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Department of Immunology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


Overexpression of HER-2/ErbB-2, a homologue of the epidermal growth factor receptor, is associated with poor prognosis, and an ErbB-2-specific antibody is therapeutic when administered to patients with metastatic breast cancer. To understand the mechanism underlying immunotherapy, we concentrated on antibody- and epidermal growth factor-induced degradation of ErbB-2. We show that enhanced degradation is preceded by poly-ubiquitination of ErbB-2. This process necessitates recruitment of the c-Cbl ubiquitin ligase to tyrosine 1112 of ErbB-2. Consequently, mutagenesis of this site retards antibody-induced degradation. Thus, the therapeutic potential of certain antibodies may be due to their ability to direct ErbB-2 to a c-Cbl-regulated proteolytic pathway.

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