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

Epidermal growth factor receptor defects in leprechaunism. A multiple growth factor-resistant syndrome.

Leprechaunism is a rare genetic disorder characterized by severe growth retardation and insulin resistance. Maximal epidermal growth factor (EGF) binding was reduced in fibroblasts from three unrelated patients with leprechaunism (Ark-1, Can-1, and Minn-1) compared with control (0.8-2.2%/mg protein vs. 5.5%/mg protein). This was due to a decrease in receptor affinity in Ark-1 and Can-1 and a decrease in receptor number in Minn-1. In all cell lines, EGF-stimulated receptor autophosphorylation was also decreased to 18-60% of control, whereas EGF internalization and degradation was normal. Sphingosine (40 microM), a protein kinase C inhibitor, increased EGF receptor affinity twofold in control cells and six- to nine-fold in cells of leprechaunism. However, sphingosine did not enhance EGF-stimulated receptor autophosphorylation in either the controls or the patients' cells. By contrast, only one of the three cell lines of patients with the type A syndrome demonstrated a decrease in EGF binding and all demonstrated normal or near normal EGF-stimulated receptor autophosphorylation. These data indicate that in patients with leprechaunism, there are functional abnormalities of the EGF receptor, as well as of the insulin receptor, that may contribute to the severity of the syndrome. These data also suggest a role for the insulin receptor in maintaining normal EGF receptor function in these cells.[1]


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