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Oncogene. 2007 Oct 25;26(49):6968-78. Epub 2007 May 7.

Defective ubiquitinylation of EGFR mutants of lung cancer confers prolonged signaling.

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


Several distinct mutations within the kinase domain of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are associated with non-small cell lung cancer, but mechanisms underlying their oncogenic potential are incompletely understood. Although normally ligand-induced kinase activation targets EGFR to Cbl-mediated receptor ubiquitinylation and subsequent degradation in lysosomes, we report that certain EGFR mutants escape this regulation. Defective endocytosis characterizes a deletion mutant of EGFR, as well as a point mutant (L858R-EGFR), whose association with c-Cbl and ubiquitinylation are impaired. Our data raise the possibility that refractoriness of L858R-EGFR to downregulation is due to enhanced heterodimerization with the oncogene product HER2, which leads to persistent stimulation.

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