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Cell Death Differ. 2008 Feb;15(2):344-53. Epub 2007 Nov 16.

RIP1 links inflammatory and growth factor signaling pathways by regulating expression of the EGFR.

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Department of Neurology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-8813, USA.


There is considerable interest in understanding how inflammatory responses influence cell proliferation and cancer. In this study, we show that the receptor-interacting protein (RIP1), a critical mediator of inflammation and stress-induced NF-kappaB activation, regulates the expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) derived from RIP1 knockout mice express very high levels of the EGFR. Reconstitution of RIP1(-/-) MEFs with RIP1 results in a lowering of EGFR levels. RIP1 influences EGFR at the mRNA level by regulating the EGFR promoter. Expression of RIP1 inhibits the EGFR promoter. RIP1 downregulates EGFR expression by interfering with the function of Sp1, which is a key activator of EGFR transcription. RIP1 suppresses Sp1 activity and overexpression of Sp1 reverses RIP1-mediated repression of the EGFR promoter. RIP1 is present both in the cytoplasm and in the nucleus. RIP1 coimmunoprecipitates with Sp1 in vivo and binds directly to Sp1 in vitro. A RIP1 mutant lacking the death domain fails to suppress Sp1 activity and the EGFR promoter, suggesting a critical role for the RIP1 death domain in EGFR regulation. Thus, our study identifies a new link between inflammatory and growth factor signaling pathways mediated by RIP1 and provides insight into the mechanism used by RIP1 to regulate EGFR levels.

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