Mapping C-Terminal Transactivation Domains of the Nuclear HER Family Receptor Tyrosine Kinase HER3
EGFR family members are tyrosine kinase transmembrane receptors that, in response to specific extracellular ligands, activate cytoplasmic pathways involved in cell proliferation, migration and differentiation. More recently, a pivotal role for EGF receptors has emerged, through the description of their nuclear localization.We report here the characterization of a nuclear variant of the kinase-defective ErbB3 receptor, ErbB3(80 kDa), spanning the intracytoplasmic domain of the receptor. We assessed the putative transcriptional functions of ErbB3(80 KDa) in cancer cells, through the regulation of the proliferative Cyclin D1 gene, an already known target of the ErbB3 cytoplasmic signaling. We demonstrate here that the binding of ErbB3(80 KDa) on the promoter activates Cyclin D1 transcription and subsequent protein expression, leading to an increased cell proliferation. This mechanism can be balanced in response to the ectopic expression of the tumor suppressor p14ARF that physically interacts with ErbB3(100 kDa) and sequesters it into nucleoli. Our data also show that ErbB3(80 kDa) increases the transcription of proliferative genes even though the cytoplasmic pathways are not activated. This nuclear ErbB3 pathway and the target genes concerned need to be further studied. Indeed, such mechanism could explain the tumor relapse observed in response to treatments aimed at blocking the receptor activation in response to ligand binding.