Department of Molecular Biology, Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany.
In contrast to signal generation and transmission, the mechanisms and molecules that negatively regulate receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling are poorly understood. Here we characterize Mig-6 as a novel negative feedback regulator of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and potential tumor suppressor. Mig-6 was identified in a yeast two-hybrid screen with the kinase active domain of the EGFR as bait. Upon EGF stimulation Mig-6 binds to the EGFR involving a highly acidic region between amino acids 985-995. This interaction is kinase activity-dependent, but independent of tyrosine 992. Mig-6 overexpression results in reduced activation of the mitogenactivated protein kinase ERK2 in response to EGF, but not FGF or PDGF, stimulation and in enhanced receptor internalization without affecting the rate of degradation. The induction of Mig-6 mRNA expression in response to EGF, but not FGF, indicates the existence of a negative regulatory feedback loop. Consistent with these findings, a possible role as tumor suppressor is indicated by Mig-6-mediated inhibition of EGFR overexpression-induced transformation of Rati cells.