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J Biol Chem. 1995 Oct 6;270(40):23402-8.

Phosphorylation of tyrosine 503 in the erythropoietin receptor (EpR) is essential for binding the P85 subunit of phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase and for EpR-associated PI 3-kinase activity.

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Terry Fox Laboratory, British Columbia Cancer Research Centre, Vancouver, Canada.


We recently reported that phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase becomes associated with the activated erythropoietin receptor (EpR), most likely through the Src homology 2 (SH2) domains within the p85 subunit of PI-3 kinase and one or more phosphorylated tyrosines within the EpR. We have now investigated this interaction in more detail and have found, based on both blotting studies with glutathione S-transferase-p85-SH2 fusion proteins and binding of these fusion proteins to SDS-denatured EpRs, that this binding is direct. Moreover, both in vitro competition studies, involving phosphorylated peptides corresponding to the amino acid sequences flanking the eight tyrosines within the intracellular domain of the EpR, and in vivo studies with mutant EpRs bearing tyrosine to phenylalanine substitutions, indicate that phosphorylation of Tyr503 within the EpR is essential for the binding of PI 3-kinase. The presence of PI 3-kinase activity in EpR immunoprecipitates from DA-3 cells infected with wild-type but not Y503F EpRs confirms this finding. Our results demonstrate that the SH2 domains of p85 can bind, in addition to their well established Tyr-Met/Val-X-Met consensus binding sequence, a Tyr-Val-Ala-Cys motif that is present in the EpR. A comparison of erythropoietin-induced tyrosine phosphorylations and proliferation of wild-type and Y503F EpR-infected DA-3 cells revealed no differences. However, the PI-3 kinase inhibitor, wortmannin, markedly inhibited the erythropoietin-induced proliferation of both cell types, suggesting that PI 3-kinase is activated in Y503F EpR expressing cells. This was confirmed by carrying out PI 3-kinase assays with anti-phosphotyrosine immunoprecipitates from erythropoietin-stimulated Y503F EpR-infected DA-3 cells and suggested that PI 3-kinase has a role in regulating erythropoietin-induced proliferation, but at a site distinct from the EpR.

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