We analyzed the binding site(s) for Grb2 on the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR), using cell lines overexpressing EGFRs containing various point and deletion mutations in the carboxy-terminal tail. Results of co-immunoprecipitation experiments suggest that phosphotyrosines Y-1068 and Y-1173 mediate the binding of Grb2 to the EGFR. Competition experiments with synthetic phosphopeptides corresponding to known autophosphorylation sites on the EGFR demonstrated that phosphopeptides containing Y-1068, and to a lesser extent Y-1086, were able to inhibit the binding of Grb2 to the EGFR, while a Y-1173 peptide did not. These findings were confirmed by using a dephosphorylation protection assay and by measuring the dissociation constants of Grb2's SH2 domain to tyrosine-phosphorylated peptides, using real-time biospecific interaction analysis (BIAcore). From these studies, we concluded that Grb2 binds directly to the EGFR at Y-1068, to a lesser extent at Y-1086, and indirectly at Y-1173. Since Grb2 also binds Shc after EGF stimulation, we investigated whether Y-1173 is a binding site for the SH2 domain of Shc on the EGFR. Both competition experiments with synthetic phosphopeptides and dephosphorylation protection analysis demonstrated that Y-1173 and Y-992 are major and minor binding sites, respectively, for Shc on the EGFR. However, other phosphorylation sites in the carboxy-terminal tail of the EGFR are able to compensate for the loss of the main binding sites for Shc. These analyses reveal a hierarchy of interactions between Grb2 and Shc with the EGFR and indicate that Grb2 can bind the tyrosine-phosphorylated EGFR directly, as well as indirectly via Shc.
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