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Regulation of epidermal growth factor receptor signaling by clathrin-coated membrane microdomains

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posted on 24.05.2021, 18:40 by Camilo Garay
The phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt signaling axis controls cell survival, proliferation and metabolism, and is activated by receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) such as the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR). In addition to activation of PI3K-Akt signaling, the binding of EGF to its receptor results in rapid recruitment of EGFR to clathrin-coated pits (CCPs) followed by eventual EGFR internalization. Hence, receptor-proximal activation of signaling intermediates occurs while EGFR resides within CCPs; however, whether CCPs are required for EGFR signaling remains poorly understood. Using a combination of pharmacological inhibition and siRNA gene silencing of clathrin, we have examined how clathrin controls EGF-stimulated activation of Akt. We find that perturbation of clathrin, but not of EGFR endocytosis by perturbation of dynamin leads to disruption of EGF-stimulated Akt phosphorylation. This indicates that clathrin acts in a function separate from its role in endocytosis to regulate EGFR signaling at the plasma membrane. The EGF-stimulated phosphorylation of the signaling intermediate Gab1, but not that of EGFR itself, was also abrogated upon disruption of clathrin. We then utilized total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRF-M) to examine the hierarchy of recruitment of EGFR signaling components to CCPs. Collectively, these findings suggest a role for clathrin as a central regulator of EGFR signaling leading to Gab1 and Akt phosphorylation.



Master of Science


Molecular Science

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type