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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2013 Oct 1;5(10):a008979. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a008979.

Receptor tyrosine kinases in the nucleus.

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Department of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232-0146.


To date, 18 distinct receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are reported to be trafficked from the cell surface to the nucleus in response to ligand binding or heterologous agonist exposure. In most cases, an intracellular domain (ICD) fragment of the receptor is generated at the cell surface and translocated to the nucleus, whereas for a few others the intact receptor is translocated to the nucleus. ICD fragments are generated by several mechanisms, including proteolysis, internal translation initiation, and messenger RNA (mRNA) splicing. The most prevalent mechanism is intramembrane cleavage by γ-secretase. In some cases, more than one mechanism has been reported for the nuclear localization of a specific RTK. The generation and use of RTK ICD fragments to directly communicate with the nucleus and influence gene expression parallels the production of ICD fragments by a number of non-RTK cell-surface molecules that also influence cell proliferation. This review will be focused on the individual RTKs and to a lesser extent on other growth-related cell-surface transmembrane proteins.

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