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Oncogene. 2007 Oct 18;26(48):6905-14. Epub 2007 May 7.

Differential nuclear localization and kinase activity of alternative ErbB4 intracellular domains.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Medicity Research Laboratories, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.


Cleavable isoforms of the ErbB4 receptor tyrosine kinase release a soluble intracellular domain (ICD) that may translocate to the nucleus and regulate signaling. However, ErbB4 gene is alternatively spliced generating CYT-1 and CYT-2 isoforms with different cytoplasmic tails. Here, we addressed whether the two alternative ErbB4 ICDs of either CYT-1 (ICD1) or CYT-2 (ICD2) type differ in signaling to the nucleus. Confocal microscopy and extraction of nuclear cell fractions indicated that significantly more ICD2 translocated to the nuclei when compared to ICD1. Unlike the membrane-anchored 80 kDa fragments derived from full-length ErbB4 isoforms, the two ICDs did not differ from each other in metabolic stability or ubiquitylation. However, ICD2 was phosphorylated at tyrosine residues to a higher extent and demonstrated greater in vitro kinase activity than ICD1. Mutating the ATP-binding site within ICD2 kinase domain (ICD2 K751R) blocked its tyrosine phosphorylation and significantly reduced its nuclear translocation. When expressed in the context of full-length ErbB4, ICD2 was also more efficient than ICD1 in promoting transcriptional activation of the STAT5 target gene beta-casein. These findings indicate that the two alternative ICDs of ErbB4 differ in their nuclear accumulation, and that the mechanism involves differential kinase activity but not ubiquitin-regulated ICD stability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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