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

ErbB-4 ribozymes abolish neuregulin-induced mitogenesis.

The epidermal growth factor-like receptor tyrosine kinase (ErbB) family is frequently overexpressed in a variety of human carcinomas, including breast cancer. To assist in characterizing the role of ErbB-4 in breast cancer, we generated three specific hammerhead ribozymes targeted to the ErbB-4 mRNA. These ribozymes, Rz6, Rz21, and Rz29, efficiently catalyzed the specific cleavage of ErbB-4 message in a cell-free system. We demonstrated that the neuregulin- induced mitogenic effect was abolished in ribozyme Rz29- and Rz6-transfected 32D/ErbB-4 cells. Inhibition of mitogenesis was characterized by ribozyme-mediated down-regulation of ErbB-4 expression. In addition, we provide the first evidence that different threshold levels of ErbB-4 expression and activation correlate with different responses to neuregulin stimulation. High levels of ErbB-4 expression, phosphorylation, and homodimerization are necessary for neuregulin-stimulated, interleukin 3-independent cell proliferation in the 32D/E4 cells. In the case of Rz29-transfected 32D/E4 cells, low levels of ErbB-4 expression allowed neuregulin-induced phosphorylation but were insufficient to couple the activated receptor to cellular signaling. Furthermore, expression of the functional ErbB-4 ribozyme in T47D human breast carcinoma cells led to a down-regulation of endogenous ErbB-4 expression and a reduction of anchorage-independent colony formation. These studies support the use of ErbB-4 ribozymes to define the role of ErbB-4 receptors in human cancers.[1]


  1. ErbB-4 ribozymes abolish neuregulin-induced mitogenesis. Tang, C.K., Goldstein, D.J., Payne, J., Czubayko, F., Alimandi, M., Wang, L.M., Pierce, J.H., Lippman, M.E. Cancer Res. (1998) [Pubmed]
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