Ligand-induced transformation by a noninternalizing epidermal growth factor receptor

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Science  23 Feb 1990:
Vol. 247, Issue 4945, pp. 962-964
DOI: 10.1126/science.2305263


Identification of a mutant epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor that does not undergo downregulation has provided a genetic probe to investigate the role of internalization in ligand-induced mitogenesis. Contact-inhibited cells expressing this internalization-defective receptor exhibited a normal mitogenic response at significantly lower ligand concentrations than did cells expressing wild-type receptors. A transformed phenotype and anchorage-independent growth were observed at ligand concentrations that failed to elicit these responses in cells expressing wild-type receptors. These findings imply that activation of the protein tyrosine kinase activity at the cell membrane is sufficient for the growth-enhancing effects of EGF. Thus, downregulation can serve as an attenuation mechanism, without which transformation ensues.

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