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Scientific reports

The Dipole Potential Modifies the Clustering and Ligand Binding Affinity of ErbB Proteins and Their Signaling Efficiency.


PMID 27775011

Abstract

Although activation of the ErbB family of receptor tyrosine kinases (ErbB1-4) is driven by oligomerization mediated by intermolecular interactions between the extracellular, the kinase and the transmembrane domains, the transmembrane domain has been largely neglected in this regard. The largest contributor to the intramembrane electric field, the dipole potential, alters the conformation of transmembrane peptides, but its effect on ErbB proteins is unknown. Here, we show by Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) and number and brightness (N&B) experiments that the epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced increase in the homoassociation of ErbB1 and ErbB2 and their heteroassociation are augmented by increasing the dipole potential. These effects were even more pronounced for ErbB2 harboring an activating Val → Glu mutation in the transmembrane domain (NeuT). The signaling capacity of ErbB1 and ErbB2 was also correlated with the dipole potential. Since the dipole potential decreased the affinity of EGF to ErbB1, the augmented growth factor-induced effects at an elevated dipole potential were actually induced at lower receptor occupancy. We conclude that the dipole potential plays a permissive role in the clustering of ErbB receptors and that the effects of lipid rafts on ligand binding and receptor signaling can be partially attributed to the dipole potential.

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