Receptor tyrosine kinase signaling mechanisms: Devolving TrkA responses with phosphoproteomics
Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) function through protein kinase entities located in the intracellular domain of each protomer. Following activation by ligand binding, they selectively form phosphotyrosine residues by autocatalytic modification. Some of these sites are involved in maintaining the active conformation of the kinase, while others become docking sites for various adaptor/effector/scaffold proteins, which, after complexing with the receptor, then initiate further responses through cascades of post-translational modifications and the generation of lipid second messengers. Although there is substantial overlap in the pathways and activities stimulated by this superfamily, the molecular features of the endodomains of the sub-families and the moieties that they interact with to perpetrate their signals are surprisingly distinct, which may play a significant role in the regulation and responses of the individual RTK types. Some use large scaffold proteins as the basis for most, if not all, of their signal-generating interactions, while others have numerous receptor endodomain phosphotyrosine sites that are quite overlapping in specificity. The members of the Trk family of receptors each have several tyrosine residues that are phosphorylated following stimulation, including those in the kinase activation loop, but there are only two established sites (Y490 and Y785 on TrkA) that are known to be directly involved in signal propagation. Taking advantage of this limited repertoire of docking sites, we have applied phosphoproteomic methods to dissect the signaling responses of both the native protein and derivatives that have had these two sites modified. Interestingly, a clear subset that was not dependent on either docking site was identified. A comparison with a similar set of data for EGFR indicates a considerable degree of similarity in the downstream signaling profile between these two RTKs.