Grap-2, a novel RET binding protein, is involved in RET mitogenic signaling.

PMID 12917638


Signal transduction of the RET receptor tyrosine kinase is involved in developmental processes as well as in neoplastic transformation. Activation of RET initiates receptor autophosphorylation on specific tyrosines that act as docking sites for downstream signaling molecules. Using the cytoplasmatic part of RET as bait in a yeast two-hybrid screen, we identified a novel SH2 and SH3 domain containing adaptor protein previously termed Grap-2/Grf40/GrpL/GRID and its murine homologue as Gads/Mona, respectively. This protein, predominantly expressed in cells of hematopoietic origin, is involved in signaling downstream of the T-cell receptor and the receptor for monocyte colony-stimulating factor. Here, we show that Grap-2 is also expressed in neuroendocrine tumors and cell lines known to bear mutated forms of RET. Endogenously expressed RET and Grap-2 coimmunoprecipitate from lysates of a medullary thyroid carcinoma cell line. Grap-2 directly associates with RET in pull-down experiments using in vitro translated proteins. Overexpression of Grap-2 inhibits RET-induced NF-kappaB activation, and cotransfection of Grap-2 significantly reduces focus formation induced by oncogenic RET in NIH 3T3 cells. Taken together, these results suggest that besides being involved in tyrosine kinase signaling in hematopoietic cells, Grap-2 plays a tissue-specific role as an inhibitor of RET mitogenic signaling.