Signal transduction of HER-2/ neu receptor tyrosine kinase

Youming Xie, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Overexpression and/or amplification of HER2/neu is frequently detected in many human cancers. Activation of p185 tyrosine kinase can be achieved by point mutation, overexpression, deletion, and heterodimerization with other class I receptors. In this study I investigated the signal transduction pathways mediating the oncogenic signal of the point mutation-activated rat p185. I demonstrated that tyrosine phosphorylation of Shc and formation of Shc/Grb2 complex correlated to the transformation of NIH3T3 cells caused by the point mutation-activated rat HER2/neu. Furthermore, I observed that association with Shc was severely impaired by deletion of most of the major autophosphorylation sites of the point-mutated p185. The truncated p185 product, however, fully retained its ability to transform NIH3T3 cells, induce Shc tyrosine phosphorylation and Shc/Grb2 complex formation. These results suggest that tyrosine phosphorylation of Shc which allows formation of Shc/Grb2 complex may play an important role in cell transformation induced by the point mutation-activated p185, and that stable binding to mutant p185 may not be necessary for Shc to mediate this signaling pathway. Recent studies have suggested that formation of the complex containing Sos, Grb2 and Shc is important in coupling receptor tyrosine kinases to the Ras signaling pathway. To clarify the role of this trimer in the oncogenic signaling of the activated p185, I set out to interfere with the protein-protein interactions in Shc/Grb2/Sos complex by introducing Grb2 mutants with deletions in either amino- ($\Delta$N-Grb2) or carboxyl- ($\Delta$C-Grb2) terminal SH3 domains into B104-1-1 cells derived from NIH3T3 cells that express the point mutation-activated HER-2/neu. I found that the transformed phenotypes of the B104-1-1 cells were largely reversed by expression of the $\Delta$N-Grb2. The effect of the $\Delta$C-Grb2 on phenotypic reversion was much weaker. Biochemical analysis showed that the $\Delta$N-Grb2 was able to associate Shc but not the activated p185 nor Sos, while the $\Delta$C-Grb2 bound to Shc, the activated p185, and Sos. The p185-mediated Ras activation was severely inhibited by the $\Delta$N-Grb2 but not the $\Delta$C-Grb2. Taken together, these data demonstrate that interruption of the interaction between Shc and the endogenous Grb2 by the $\Delta$N-Grb2 is able to impair the oncogenic signaling of the mutation-activated p185, indicating that (i) the $\Delta$N-Grb2 functions as a strong dominant-negative mutant, (ii) Shc/Grb2/Sos pathway plays a major role in mediating the oncogenic signal of the mutation-activated p185. Unlike the $\Delta$N-Grb2, the $\Delta$C-Grb2 appears to be a relatively weak dominant-negative mutant, probably due to its ability to largely fulfill the biological functions of the wild-type Grb2.

Subject Area

Cellular biology|Molecular biology|Genetics

Recommended Citation

Xie, Youming, "Signal transduction of HER-2/ neu receptor tyrosine kinase" (1996). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9621463.