Endocytic Regulation of EGFR Signaling

  • Chung, Byung-Min (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University)
  • Received : 2012.04.09
  • Accepted : 2012.04.18
  • Published : 2012.06.30


Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a member of the ErbB family (ErbB1-4) of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). EGFR controls numerous physiological functions, including cell proliferation, migration, differentiation and survival. Importantly, aberrant signaling by EGFR has been linked to human cancers in which EGFR and its various ligands are frequently overexpressed or mutated. EGFR coordinates activation of multiple downstream factors and is subject of various regulatory processes as it mediates biology of the cell it resides in. Therefore, many studies have been devoted to understanding EGFR biology and targeting the protein for the goal of controlling tumor in clinical settings. Endocytic regulation of EGFR offers a promising area for targeting EGFR activity. Upon ligand binding, the activated receptor undergoes endocytosis and becomes degraded in lysosome, thereby terminating the signal. En route to lysosome, the receptor becomes engaged in activating various signaling pathways including PI-3K, MAPK and Src, and endocytosis may offer both spatial and temporal regulation of downstream target activation. Therefore, endocytosis is an important regulator of EGFR signaling, and increasing emphasis is being placed on endocytosis in terms of cancer treatment and understanding of the disease. In this review, EGFR signaling pathway and its intricate regulation by endocytosis will be discussed.


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