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FEBS Lett. 1998 Jul 10;431(1):102-6.

Formation of a high affinity heregulin binding site using the soluble extracellular domains of ErbB2 with ErbB3 or ErbB4.

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Genentech, Inc., Department of Molecular Oncology, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.


ErbB2 functions as a shared signal transducing component for other ErbB receptor family members. Two of these receptors, ErbB3 and ErbB4, bind the heregulin (HRG) or neuregulin family of polypeptide growth factors. Cells expressing ErbB3 alone display a single class of low affinity HRG binding sites, whereas both high and low affinity binding sites can be measured on cells that co-express both ErbB3 and ErbB2. To assess the interaction of the extracellular domains of ErbB receptors, a series of soluble homodimeric and heterodimeric IgG fusion proteins were constructed. Heregulin binding analysis revealed that a heterodimer composed of either ErbB3 or ErbB4 with ErbB2 is sufficient for the formation of a high affinity binding state. In contrast, heterodimeric ErbB3/4-IgG, as well as homodimeric ErbB3-IgG or ErbB4-IgG, contained only low affinity HRG binding sites. Further evidence for the unique specificity of ErbB2 in generating this high affinity binding site was determined by inhibiting HRG binding with an ErbB2 monoclonal antibody.

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