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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2010 Dec;21(9):936-43. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2010.09.006. Epub 2010 Sep 22.

E3 ubiquitin ligases in ErbB receptor quantity control.

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UC Davis Cancer Center, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.


Signaling through ErbB family growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases is necessary for the development and homeostasis of a wide variety of tissue types. However, the intensity of receptor-mediated cellular signaling must fall within a precise range; insufficient signaling can lead to developmental abnormalities or tissue atrophy, while over-signaling can lead to hyperplastic and ultimately neoplastic events. While a plethora of mechanisms have been described that regulate downstream signaling events, it appears that cells also utilize various mechanisms to regulate their ErbB receptor levels. Such mechanisms are collectively termed "ErbB receptor quantity control." Notably, studies over the past few years have highlighted roles for post-transcriptional processes, particularly protein degradation, in ErbB quantity control. Here the involvement of ErbB-directed E3 ubiquitin ligases is discussed, including Nrdp1-mediated ErbB3 degradation, ErbB4 degradation mediated by Nedd4 family E3 ligases, and CHIP-mediated ErbB2 degradation. The hypothesis is forwarded that protein degradation-based ErbB quantity control mechanisms play central roles in suppressing receptor overexpression in normal cells, and that the loss of such mechanisms could facilitate the onset or progression of ErbB-dependent tumors.

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