Regulation of epidermal growth factor receptor signaling by endocytosis and intracellular trafficking

P. Burke, K. Schooler, H. S. Wiley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

304 Scopus citations


Ligand activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) leads to its rapid internalization and eventual delivery to lysosomes. This process is thought to be a mechanism to attenuate signaling, but signals could potentially be generated after endocytosis. To directly evaluate EGFR signaling during receptor trafficking, we developed a technique to rapidly and selectively isolate internalized EGFR and associated molecules with the use of reversibly biotinylated anti-EGFR antibodies. In addition, we developed antibodies specific to tyrosine-phosphorylated EGFR. With the use of a combination of fluorescence imaging and affinity precipitation approaches, we evaluated the state of EGFR activation and substrate association during trafficking in epithelial cells. We found that after internalization, EGFR remained active in the early endosomes. However, receptors were inactivated before degradation, apparently due to ligand removal from endosomes. Adapter molecules, such as Shc, were associated with EGFR both at the cell surface and within endosomes. Some molecules, such as Grb2, were primarily found associated with surface EGFR, whereas others, such as Eps8, were found only with intracellular receptors. During the inactivation phase, c-Cb1 became EGFR associated, cons stent with its postulated role in receptor attenuation. We conclude that the association of the EGFR with different proteins is compartment specific. In addition, ligand loss is the proximal cause of EGFR inactivation. Thus, regulated trafficking could potentially influence the pattern as well as the duration of signal transduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1897-1910
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Regulation of epidermal growth factor receptor signaling by endocytosis and intracellular trafficking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this