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Traffic. 2002 Oct;3(10):740-51.

Ligand-independent degradation of epidermal growth factor receptor involves receptor ubiquitylation and Hgs, an adaptor whose ubiquitin-interacting motif targets ubiquitylation by Nedd4.

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Department of Biological Regulation, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


Ligand-dependent endocytosis of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) involves recruitment of a ubiquitin ligase, and sorting of ubiquitylated receptors to lysosomal degradation. By studying Hgs, a mammalian homolog of a yeast vacuolar-sorting adaptor, we provide information on the less understood, ligand-independent pathway of receptor endocytosis and degradation. Constitutive endocytosis involves receptor ubiquitylation and translocation to Hgs-containing endosomes. Whereas the lipid-binding motif of Hgs is necessary for receptor endocytosis, the ubiquitin-interacting motif negatively regulates receptor degradation. We demonstrate that the ubiquitin-interacting motif is endowed with two functions: it binds ubiquitylated proteins and it targets self-ubiquitylation by recruiting Nedd4, an ubiquitin ligase previously implicated in endocytosis. Based upon the dual function of the ubiquitin-interacting motif and its wide occurrence in endocytic adaptors, we propose a ubiquitin-interacting motif network that relays ubiquitylated membrane receptors to lysosomal degradation through successive budding events.

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