Ligand-independent EGFR oligomers do not rely on the active state asymmetric kinase dimer

Patrick O. Byrne, Kalina Hristova, Daniel J Leahy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR/ERBB1) is a Receptor Tyrosine Kinase (RTK) that forms active oligomers in response to ligand. Much evidence indicates that EGFR/ERBB1 forms oligomers in the absence of ligand, but the structure and physiological role of these ligand-independent dimers remain unclear. We use fluorescence microscopy to measure the oligomer stability and FRET efficiency for homo- and hetero-oligomers of fluorescent-protein labeled forms of EGFR and its paralog, Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2/ERBB2) in vesicles derived from native cell membranes. Both receptors form ligand-independent oligomers at physiological plasma membrane concentrations. Mutations introduced in the EGFR kinase region at a key interface within the active state dimer alter the FRET efficiency within ligand-independent EGFR oligomers but do not affect their stability. These results indicate that ligand-independent EGFR oligomers do not require this interface and that the inactive state ensemble is distinct from the EGFR active state ensemble.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Apr 25 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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