Activation of Rho is Required for Ligand-independent Oncogenic Signaling by a Mutant Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor

Julie L. Boerner, Andrew Danielsen, Michael J. McManus, Nita J. Maihle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor have been identified in several human tumor types, including gliomas. These receptor mutants have deletions in their extracellular ligand-binding domains and are, therefore, no longer regulated by ligand, resulting in constitutive activation of the receptor kinase. These mutants have been proposed to transduce oncogenic signals via ligand-independent signaling pathways. Avian viral homologues of these oncogenic epidermal growth factor receptors exhibit structurally homologous deletions and form tumors in chickens. One such mutant, S3v-ErbB, transforms fibroblasts in vitro, and transformation has been correlated with the formation of a novel tyrosine phosphoprotein complex. V-ErbB-mediated complex formation and transformation have been shown to occur independently of Ras activation. The major aims of this study are to further characterize this ligand-independent v-ErbB oncogenic signaling pathway. Here we show that both v-ErbB-mediated phosphoprotein complex formation and transformation are inhibited by a dominant negative mutant of Rho. This inhibition is specific for dominant negative Rho; dominant negative mutants of Rac and Cdc42 have no effect on transformation or on tyrosine phosphorylation of the phosphoprotein complex. Based on these observations, we propose that S3v-ErbB stimulates a Rho-dependent tyrosine kinase, resulting in complex formation and ultimately oncogenic transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3691-3695
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 2 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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