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

Synthesis of epidermal growth factor receptor in human A431 cells. Glycosylation-dependent acquisition of ligand binding activity occurs post-translationally in the endoplasmic reticulum.

It was previously demonstrated that the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor in human A431 cells undergoes a slow post-translational modification by which it acquires EGF binding capacity (Slieker, L.J., and Lane, M.D. (1985) J. Biol. Chem. 260, 687-690). In this report, the role of glycosylation in the acquisition of ligand binding activity and in the intracellular translocation of the receptor precursor is characterized. Human A431 cells were incubated with [35S]methionine, and 35S-labeled EGF receptors were purified either by immunoprecipitation (total receptor) or by adsorption to an EGF affinity matrix (high affinity, or active receptor). The half-time for receptor activation is approximately 30 min and precedes its acquisition of resistance to endo-beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase H (t 1/2 = 75 min), a medial Golgi event. Activation is blocked by tunicamycin and is markedly slowed (t 1/2 = 120 min) by 1-deoxynojirimycin, an inhibitor of glucosidase I. In the latter case, the oligosaccharide chains are not further processed to complex forms. Treatment of the active high mannose receptor with endo-beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase H generates a fully active aglycoreceptor polypeptide, indicating that core oligosaccharide addition is a prerequisite for activation but that oligosaccharide chains are not intrinsically required for EGF binding. Subcellular fractionation studies showed that the EGF receptor is activated in the endoplasmic reticulum and that translocation from that organelle is extremely slow (t 1/2 = 75 min). Since the latter translocation rate approximates that for the acquisition of the resistance to endoglycosidase H, transit from the endoplasmic reticulum appears to be rate-limiting for the maturation of the receptor. Both tunicamycin and 1-deoxynojirimycin inhibit exit from the endoplasmic reticulum in parallel with their effects on the acquisition of binding activity. Immunoprecipitation of 35S-labeled EGF receptor with antiphosphotyrosine antibody in the presence of ATP suggested that the autophosphorylation activity of the receptor is also acquired post-translationally. The possible correlation of this to EGF binding activity is discussed.[1]


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