Unliganded epidermal growth factor receptor dimerization induced by direct interaction of quinazolines with the ATP binding site

Carlos L. Arteaga, Timothy T. Ramsey, Laura K. Shawver, Cheryl A. Guyer

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132 Scopus citations


Receptor dimerization is critical for signaling by the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase. This occurs after binding of the receptor's extracellular domain by ligand or bivalent antibodies. The role of other receptor domains in dimerization is less clear, and there are no examples of dimers induced by direct perturbation of the EGFR kinase domain. Submicromolar concentrations of AG-1478 and AG-1517, quinazolines specific for inhibition of the EGFR kinase, induced reversible receptor dimerization in vitro and in intact A431 cells. Consistent with the inhibitory effect of quinazolines on receptor kinase activity, the dimers formed lacked a detectable Tyr(P) signal. Quinazoline-induced EGFR dimerization was abrogated in vitro by ATP and the ATP analog adenyl-5'-yl imidodiphosphate. Receptors with a single-paint mutation in the ATP binding site as well as wild-type EGFR with a covalent modification of the ATP site failed to dimerize in response to AG-1478 and AG-1517. These data suggest that EGFR dimerization can be induced by the interaction of quinazolines at the ATP site in the absence of receptor ligand binding. In SKBR-3 cells, the quinazolines induced the formation of inactive EGFR/ErbB-2 heterodimers, potentially sequestering ErbB-2 from interacting with other coreceptors of the ErbB family. Structural studies of the quinazoline interaction with the EGFR tyrosine kinase domain should allow for an analysis of receptor-specific chemical features required for binding to the ATP site and disruption of signaling, a strategy that can be perhaps applied to other tumor cell receptor systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23247-23254
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number37
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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