The ER structural protein Rtn4A stabilizes and enhances signaling through the receptor tyrosine kinase ErbB3

Jason Hatakeyama, Jessica H. Wald, Hanine Rafidi, Antonio Cuevas, Colleen A Sweeney, Kermit L Carraway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


ErbB3 and ErbB4 are receptor tyrosine kinases that are activated by the neuregulin (NRG) family of growth factors. These receptors govern various developmental processes, and their dysregulation contributes to several human disease states. The abundance of ErbB3 and ErbB4, and thus signaling through these receptors, is limited by the E3 ubiquitin ligase Nrdp1, which targets ErbB3 and ErbB4 for degradation. Reticulons are proteins that influence the morphology of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by promoting the formation of tubules, a response of cells to some stressors. We found that the ER structural protein reticulon 4A (Rtn4A, also known as Nogo-A) increased ErbB3 abundance and proliferative signaling by suppressing Nrdp1 function. Rtn4A interacted with Nrdp1 and stabilized ErbB3 in an Nrdp1-dependent manner. Rtn4A overexpression induced the redistribution of Nrdp1 from a cytosolic or perinuclear localization to ER tubules. Rtn4A knockdown in human breast tumor cells decreased ErbB3 abundance, NRG-stimulated signaling, and cellular proliferation and migration. Because proteins destined for the plasma membrane are primarily synthesized in the sheet portions of the ER, our observations suggest that Rtn4A counteracts the Nrdp1-mediated degradation of ErbB3 by sequestering the ubiquitin ligase into ER tubules. The involvement of a reticulon suggests a molecular link between ER structure and the sensitivity of cells to receptor tyrosine kinase-mediated survival signals at the cell surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberra65
JournalScience Signaling
Issue number434
StatePublished - Jun 28 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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