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Mol Biol Cell. 2007 Jan;18(1):176-88. Epub 2006 Nov 1.

Substrate selectivity of epidermal growth factor-receptor ligand sheddases and their regulation by phorbol esters and calcium influx.

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Arthritis and Tissue Degeneration Program, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY 10021, USA.

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  • Mol Biol Cell. 2010 Jun;21(11):1908.


Signaling via the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which has critical roles in development and diseases such as cancer, is regulated by proteolytic shedding of its membrane-tethered ligands. Sheddases for EGFR-ligands are therefore key signaling switches in the EGFR pathway. Here, we determined which ADAMs (a disintegrin and metalloprotease) can shed various EGFR-ligands, and we analyzed the regulation of EGFR-ligand shedding by two commonly used stimuli, phorbol esters and calcium influx. Phorbol esters predominantly activate ADAM17, thereby triggering a burst of shedding of EGFR-ligands from a late secretory pathway compartment. Calcium influx stimulates ADAM10, requiring its cytoplasmic domain. However, calcium influx-stimulated shedding of transforming growth factor alpha and amphiregulin does not require ADAM17, even though ADAM17 is essential for phorbol ester-stimulated shedding of these EGFR-ligands. This study provides new insight into the machinery responsible for EGFR-ligand release and thus EGFR signaling and demonstrates that dysregulated EGFR-ligand shedding may be caused by increased expression of constitutively active sheddases or activation of different sheddases by distinct stimuli.

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