Threonine 680 phosphorylation of FLJ00018/PLEKHG2, a Rho family-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor, by epidermal growth factor receptor signaling regulates cell morphology of Neuro-2a cells [Cell Biology]

February 19th, 2014 by Sato, K., Sugiyama, T., Nagase, T., Kitade, Y., Ueda, H.

FLJ00018/PLEKHG2 is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for the small GTPases Rac and Cdc42 and has been shown to mediate the signaling pathways leading to actin cytoskeleton reorganization. The function of FLJ00018 is regulated by the interaction of heterotrimeric GTP-binding protein Gβγ subunits or cytosolic actin. However, the details underlying the molecular mechanisms of FLJ00018 activation have yet to be elucidated. In the present study, we show that FLJ00018 is phosphorylated and activated by β1-adrenergic receptor (β1-AR) stimulation-induced EGF receptor (EGFR) transactivation in addition to Gβγ signaling. FLJ00018 is also phosphorylated and activated by direct EGFR stimulation. The phosphorylation of FLJ00018 by EGFR stimulation is mediated by the Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. Through deletion and site-directed mutagenesis studies, we have identified Thr-680 as the major site of phosphorylation by EGFR stimulation. FLJ00018 T680A, in which the phosphorylation site is replaced by alanine, showed a limited response of the Neuro-2a cell morphology to EGF stimulation. Our results provide evidence that stimulation of the Ras/MAPK pathway by EGFR results in FLJ00018 phosphorylation at Thr-680, which in turn controls changes in cell shape.
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