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EMBO J. 1993 Mar;12(3):933-41.

Tyrosine 785 is a major determinant of Trk--substrate interaction.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Martinsried, Germany.


Interaction of the nerve growth factor (NGF) receptor/Trk with cellular substrates was investigated by transient co-overexpression in human 293 fibroblasts using ET-R, a chimeric receptor consisting of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) extracellular ligand binding domain and the Trk transmembrane and intracellular signal-generating sequences. The chimera was fully functional, and associated with and phosphorylated phospholipase C gamma (PLC gamma), ras GTPase-activating protein (GAP) and the non-catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol-3'-kinase, p85, in a ligand-dependent manner. Deletion of 15 C-terminal amino acids, including tyrosine 785 (Y-785) abrogated receptor and substrate phosphorylation activities. Mutation of Y-785 to phenylalanine somewhat impaired receptor phosphorylation activity, which was reflected in reduced GAP and p85 phosphorylation. In contrast, ET-YF phosphorylation of PLC gamma was significantly reduced, while the high affinity association potential with this substrate was abrogated by this point mutation in vitro and in intact cells. Furthermore, a tyrosine-phosphorylated synthetic C-terminal peptide competitively inhibited Trk cytoplasmic domain association with PLC gamma. Thus, the short C-terminal tail appears to be a crucial structural element of the Trk cytoplasmic domain, and phosphorylated Y-785 is a major and selective interaction site for PLC gamma.

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