HER receptor dimerization controlled with bivalent ligands

In this thesis, I show the ability of engineered bivalent ligands to control HER signaling by taking advantage of the dimerization-dependent mechanism of the four different receptors in the HER (EGFR) family. While monovalent wild-type ligands form HER homoe- and hetero-dimers according to the different members' relative expression levels, I hypothesize that bivalent ligands are able to drive dimerization of specific family members, independently of the cell's HER receptor composition. Using human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT)-immortalized human mesenchymal stem cells (hTMSC), this study first confirms the bioactivity of the bivalent ligands: they exhibit an EC50 one order of magnitude lower than wild-type monomeric ligands and shown an avidity effect as shown from dose-response analysis of the pERK and pY-EGFR nodes. Then, I take advantage of known differences between EGFR hetero- and homodimer to investigate the bivalent ligands' ability to form selective dimers. I demonstrate that bivalent EGF is capable of inducing greater EGFR phosphorylation while preventing HER2 phosphorylation compared to wild-type EGF stimulation. Furthermore, the kinetics of EGFR activation by bivalent EGF differs from wild-type EGF with the appearance of a second activation peak at 20 minutes. Controlling the HER signaling network with these bivalent ligands has potential applications in tissue engineering, cancer therapy and in fundamental studies of the ErbB receptors activation mechanism

Hubbell, Jeffrey A.
Griffith Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge (USA); Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine & Pharmacobiology (LMRP), SV/SB/STI, EPFL, Lausanne (CH)

 Record created 2009-11-12, last modified 2018-01-28

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