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FEBS Lett. 2004 Jul 2;569(1-3):332-6.

ErbB3/HER3 does not homodimerize upon neuregulin binding at the cell surface.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6059, USA.


To understand signaling by the neuregulin (NRG) receptor ErbB3/HER3, it is important to know whether ErbB3 forms homodimers upon ligand binding. Previous biophysical studies suggest that the ErbB3 extracellular region remains monomeric when bound to NRG. We used a chimeric receptor approach to address this question in living cells, fusing the extracellular region of ErbB3 to the kinase-active intracellular domain of ErbB1. The ErbB3/ErbB1 chimera responded to NRG only if ErbB2 was co-expressed in the same cells, whereas an ErbB4/ErbB1 chimera responded without ErbB2. We, therefore, suggest that ErbB3 is an obligate heterodimerization partner because of its inability to homodimerize.

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