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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

c-erbB-3: a nuclear protein in mammary epithelial cells.

c-erbB receptors are usually located in cell membranes and are activated by extracellular binding of EGF-like growth factors. Unexpectedly, using immunofluorescence we found high levels of c-erbB-3 within the nuclei of MTSV1-7 immortalized nonmalignant human mammary epithelial cells. Nuclear localization was mediated by the COOH terminus of c-erbB-3, and a nuclear localization signal was identified by site-directed mutagenesis and by transfer of the signal to chicken pyruvate kinase. A nuclear export inhibitor caused accumulation of c-erbB-3 in the nuclei of other mammary epithelial cell lines as demonstrated by immunofluorescence and biochemical cell fractionation, suggesting that c-erbB-3 shuttles between nuclear and nonnuclear compartments in these cells. Growth of MTSV1-7 on permeable filters induced epithelial polarity and concentration of c-erbB-3 within the nucleoli. However, the c-erbB-3 ligand heregulin beta1 shifted c-erbB-3 from the nucleolus into the nucleoplasm and then into the cytoplasm. The subcellular localization of c-erbB-3 obviously depends on exogenous stimuli and on the stage of epithelial polarity and challenges the specific function of c-erbB-3 as a transmembrane receptor protein arguing for additional, as yet unidentified, roles of c-erbB-3 within the nucle(ol)us of mammary epithelial cells.[1]


  1. c-erbB-3: a nuclear protein in mammary epithelial cells. Offterdinger, M., Schöfer, C., Weipoltshammer, K., Grunt, T.W. J. Cell Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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