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Trends Cardiovasc Med. 2000 Oct;10(7):304-10.

Erbb4 and its isoforms: selective regulation of growth factor responses by naturally occurring receptor variants.

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Medicity Research Laboratories, University of Turku, Tykistökatu 6 A, FIN-20520 Turku, Finland.


ErbB4 is a member of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR, ErbB) family that mediates responses to neuregulins and other EGF-like growth factors. ErbB4 is a central regulator of cardiovascular and neural development as well as differentiation of the mammary gland. A role for ErbB4 has also been implicated in malignancies and heart diseases. Four structurally and functionally distinct ErbB4 isoforms have recently been identified. One pair of isoforms differs within their extracellular juxtamembrane domains. These juxtamembrane ErbB4 isoforms are either susceptible or resistant to proteolytic processing that release a soluble receptor ectodomain. Another pair of ErbB4 isoforms differs within their cytoplasmic tails. Analysis of the intracellular signal transduction pathways indicates that both cytoplasmic ErbB4 isoforms can couple to the Shc-MAPK signaling pathway, while the other one is incapable of coupling to the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-K)-Akt pathway. The differences in the activation of signaling cascades are reflected in the cellular responses stimulated via the cytoplasmic isoforms. Both cytoplasmic ErbB4 isoforms can stimulate proliferation, but the isoform that cannot activate PI3-K is defective in stimulating cellular survival and chemotaxis. Together these four naturally occurring receptor variants provide a new level of diversity to the control of growth factor-stimulated cellular responses. Thus, the ErbB4 isoforms may have distinct and specific roles in the regulation of various developmental and pathological processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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