Mapping C-terminal transactivation domains of the nuclear HER family receptor tyrosine kinase HER3.

Brand TM, Iida M, Luthar N, Wleklinski MJ, Starr MM, Wheeler DL
PLoS One. 2013 8 (8): e71518

PMID: 23951180 · PMCID: PMC3738522 · DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0071518

Nuclear localized HER family receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) have been observed in primary tumor specimens and cancer cell lines for nearly two decades. Inside the nucleus, HER family members (EGFR, HER2, and HER3) have been shown to function as co-transcriptional activators for various cancer-promoting genes. However, the regions of each receptor that confer transcriptional potential remain poorly defined. The current study aimed to map the putative transactivation domains (TADs) of the HER3 receptor. To accomplish this goal, various intracellular regions of HER3 were fused to the DNA binding domain of the yeast transcription factor Gal4 (Gal4DBD) and tested for their ability to transactivate Gal4 UAS-luciferase. Results from these analyses demonstrated that the C-terminal domain of HER3 (CTD, amino acids distal to the tyrosine kinase domain) contained potent transactivation potential. Next, nine HER3-CTD truncation mutants were constructed to map minimal regions of transactivation potential using the Gal4 UAS-luciferase based system. These analyses identified a bipartite region of 34 (B₁) and 27 (B₂) amino acids in length that conferred the majority of HER3's transactivation potential. Next, we identified full-length nuclear HER3 association and regulation of a 122 bp region of the cyclin D1 promoter. To understand how the B₁ and B₂ regions influenced the transcriptional functions of nuclear HER3, we performed cyclin D1 promoter-luciferase assays in which HER3 deleted of the B₁ and B₂ regions was severely hindered in regulating this promoter. Further, the overexpression of HER3 enhanced cyclin D1 mRNA expression, while HER3 deleted of its identified TADs was hindered at doing so. Thus, the ability for HER3 to function as a transcriptional co-activator may be dependent on specific C-terminal TADs.

MeSH Terms (9)

Cell Line Cell Nucleus Cyclin D1 Humans Mutation Promoter Regions, Genetic Protein Structure, Tertiary Receptor, ErbB-3 Transcriptional Activation

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