Avian c-erbB is activated to a leukemia oncogene following truncation of its amino-terminal ligand-binding domain by retroviral insertion. The insertionally activated transcripts encode protein products which have constitutive tyrosine kinase activity and can induce erythroleukemia but not sarcomas. We have previously found that a valine-to-isoleucine point mutation at position 157 (V157I mutant) within the tyrosine kinase domain of this truncated erbB can dramatically activate the sarcomagenic potential of the oncogene and increase the kinase activity of this oncoprotein. This mutation lies at position 157 of the insertionally activated c-erbB product, affecting a highly conserved valine residue of the glycine loop involved in ATP binding and phosphate transfer. To investigate the functional importance of this residue in the catalytic activity of kinases, we have introduced at this position, by site-directed mutagenesis, codons representing the remaining 18 amino acid residues. Most of the mutants have diminished activity, with six of them completely devoid of kinase activity, indicating the sensitivity of this region to conformational changes. Some of these mutants displayed increased kinase activity and greater transforming potential in comparison with 1A c-erbB, but none had levels as high as those of the V157I mutant. In general, the sarcomagenic potential of the various erbB mutants correlated with their autophosphorylation state and their ability to cause phosphorylation of MAP kinase. However, there are important exceptions such as the V157G mutant, which lacks enhanced autophosphorylation but is highly sarcomagenic. Studies of this and other autophosphorylation site mutants point to the existence of an autophosphorylation-independent pathway in sarcomagenesis. The requirement for leukemogenic potential is much less stringent and correlates with positivity of kinase activity. When the valine- to-isoleucine substitution was put in context of the full-length erbB protein, the mutation relaxed the ligand dependence and had a positive effect on the transforming potential of the full-length c-erbB.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Molecular and Cellular Biology|
|State||Published - Oct 1994|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology