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Oncogene. 1995 Apr 6;10(7):1403-11.

ErbB-3 mediates differential mitogenic effects of NDF/heregulin isoforms on mouse keratinocytes.

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Department of Cell Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


The family of Neu differentiation factors (NDFs, or heregulins) includes a dozen secreted glycoproteins, whose receptor binding domain displays two variants, alpha and beta, and they bind to two receptor tyrosine kinases, ErbB-3 and ErbB-4. Certain isoforms were reported to induce growth-arrest and differentiation of mammary tumor cells, while other breast cancer cell lines responded mitogenically. The present study addressed the biologic effects of various NDF isoforms on normal EGF-dependent epithelial cells, Balb/MK keratinocytes, that can undergo either proliferation or differentiation. We found that beta isoforms of NDF induced a mitogenic effect, that was significantly smaller than the maximal response to EGF. By contrast with NDF-beta, NDF-alpha isoforms exerted almost no mitogenic effect, but they were sufficient to maintain keratinocytes in culture. Consistent with their higher mitogenic potency, NDF-beta isoforms bound to Balb/MK cells with higher affinity (Kd = 2.2 nM) than alpha isoforms, however both groups shared their receptor, that we identified as ErbB-3. No transcript of ErbB-4 was detectable in the keratinocytes, but these cells express multiple NDF mRNAs and also ErbB-2. We conclude that different isoforms of NDF induce distinct growth regulatory effects on cultured keratinocytes, through direct interaction with ErbB-3.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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