As a first step toward developing a structural map of key sites on the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor, we have used resonance energy transfer to measure the distance of closest approach between the receptor-bound growth factor molecule and lipid molecules at the surface of the plasma membrane. EGF, specifically labeled at its amino terminus with fluorescein 5-isothiocyanate, was used as an energy donor in these experiments, while either octadecylrhodamine B or octadecylrhodamine 101, inserted into plasma membranes isolated from human epidermoid carcinoma (A431) cells, served as the energy acceptors. The energy transfer measurements indicate that the amino terminus of the bound growth factor is about 67 A away from the plasma membrane. On the basis of the dimensions of the EGF molecule, this suggests that EGF binds to a site on its receptor that is a considerable distance (52-82 Å) from the surface of these cells. Identical results were obtained under conditions where the receptor functions as an active tyrosine kinase, suggesting that the relative juxtaposition of the EGF binding domain to the membrane surface does not change with receptor autophosphorylation or with the activation of the receptor tyrosine kinase activity.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - 1990|
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