The mammalian proto-oncoprotein Cbl and its homologues in Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila are evolutionarily conserved negative regulators of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R). Overexpression of wild-type Cbl enhances down-regulation of activated EGF-R from the cell surface. We report that the Cbl tyrosine kinase-binding (TKB) domain is essential for this activity. Whereas wild-type Cbl enhanced ligand-dependent EGF-R ubiquitination, down-regulation from the cell surface, accumulation in intracellular vesicles, and degradation, a Cbl TKB domain-inactivated mutant (G306E) did not. Furthermore, the transforming truncation mutant Cbl-N (residues 1-357), comprising only the Cbl TKB domain, functioned as a dominant negative protein. It colocalized with EGF-R in intracellular vesicular structures, yet it suppressed down-regulation of EGF-R from the surface of cells expressing endogenous wild-type Cbl. Therefore, Cbl-mediated down-regulation of EGF-R requires the integrity of both the N-terminal TKB domain and additional C-terminal sequences. A Cbl truncation mutant comprising amino acids 1-440 functioned like wild-type Cbl in down-regulation assays. This mutant includes the evolutionarily conserved TKB and RING finger domains but lacks the less conserved C-terminal sequences. We conclude that the evolutionarily conserved N terminus of Cbl is sufficient to effect enhancement of EGF-R ubiquitination and down-regulation from the cell surface.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology