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J Cell Physiol. 1995 Mar;162(3):434-46.

Cytoplasmic juxtamembrane domain of the human EGF receptor is required for basolateral localization in MDCK cells.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-4970.


Although it is well established that epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFRs) are asymmetrically expressed at the basolateral plasma membrane in polarized epithelial cells, how this process is regulated is not known. The purpose of this study was to address the mechanism of directed EGFR basolateral sorting using the Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cell model. The first set of experiments established sorting patterns for endogenous canine EGFRs. The polarity of the canine EGFR was not quantitatively affected by differences in electrical resistance exhibited by the MDCK I and MDCK II cell strains. In both cases, greater than 90% of total surface EGFRs was localized to the basolateral surface. Canine EGFRs sort directly to the basolateral membrane from the trans-Golgi network with a half-time of approximately 45 min and have an approximate t1/2 of 12.5 h once reaching the basolateral surface. Human holoreceptors expressed in stably transfected MDCK cells also localize to the basolateral membrane with similar efficiency. To identify EGFR sequences necessary for basolateral sorting, MDCK cells were transfected with cDNAs coding for cytoplasmically truncated human receptor proteins. Human EGFRs truncated at Arg-651 were localized predominantly at the apical surface of filter-grown cells, whereas receptors truncated at Leu-723 were predominantly basolateral. These results suggest that the cytoplasmic juxtamembrane domain contains a positive basolateral sorting determinant. Moreover, the EGFR ectodomain or transmembrane domain may possess a cryptic sequence that specifically interacts with the apical sorting machinery once the dominant basolateral sorting signal is removed. Further elucidation of the precise location of these signals will enhance our basic understanding of regulated plasma membrane sorting, as well as the functional consequences of inappropriate EGFR expression associated with certain pathophysiologic and malignant states.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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