J Cell Biol 2010 May 26;189(3):557-71. Epub 2010 Apr 26.
Istituto Regina Elena, Rome, Italy.
Signaling by epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) must be controlled tightly because aberrant EGFR activity may cause cell transformation. Receptor-associated late transducer (RALT) is a feedback inhibitor of EGFR whose genetic ablation in the mouse causes phenotypes due to EGFR-driven excess cell proliferation. RALT inhibits EGFR catalytic activation by docking onto EGFR kinase domain. We report here an additional mechanism of EGFR suppression mediated by RALT, demonstrating that RALT-bound EGF receptors undergo endocytosis and eventual degradation into lysosomes. Moreover, RALT rescues the endocytic deficit of EGFR mutants unable to undergo either endocytosis (Dc214) or degradation (Y1045F) and mediates endocytosis via a domain distinct from that responsible for EGFR catalytic suppression. Consistent with providing a scaffolding function for endocytic proteins, RALT drives EGFR endocytosis by binding to AP-2 and Intersectins. These data suggest a model in which binding of RALT to EGFR integrates suppression of EGFR kinase with receptor endocytosis and degradation, leading to durable repression of EGFR signaling.