Multiple autophosphorylation site mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor: Analysis of kinase activity and endocytosis

A. Sorkin, C. Waters, K. A. Overholser, G. Carpenter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


We have utilized site-directed mutants to study the role of autophosphorylation of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor in the regulation of receptor kinase activity and ligand-induced endocytosis. A single mutation of the major autophosphorylation site, Y1173, and a double mutation of two autophosphorylation sites, Y1173 and Y1148, did not inhibit kinase activity in vivo, using PLCγ1 as a specific substrate for the EGF receptor kinase. The simultaneous mutation of three major autophosphorylation sites (Y1173, Y1148, Y1068), however, caused more than a 50% decrease in EGF-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of PLCγ1. The triple mutation also resulted in a substantial inhibition of the EGF-receptor endocytic system. We have used three types of experiments to analyze internalization, recycling, and degradation of EGF in cells with these mutants or the wild-type receptor. Using a simple mathematical model we have shown that the internalization rate constant is 2-fold lower in cells expressing the triple mutation receptor (F3 cells) than in cells expressing wild-type EGF receptor (wild-type cells). However, the rate constant for recycling was similar in both cell types. The EGF degradation rate constant was also lower in F3 cells. EGF-induced EGF receptor degradation was slower in F3 cells (t 1/2 = 4 h) than in wild-type cells (t 1/2 = 1 h). Therefore, our results suggest that multiple autophosphorylations of the carboxyl terminus of the EGF receptor are required for EGF receptor kinase activation, and for the internalization and intracellular processing of the EGF·receptor complex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8355-8362
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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