In quiescent fibroblasts, epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptors (EGFR) are initially concentrated in caveolae but rapidly move out of this membrane domain in response to EGF. To better understand the dynamic localization of EGFR to caveolae, we have studied the behavior of wild-type and mutant receptors expressed in cells lacking endogenous EGFR. All of the receptors we examined, including those missing the first 274 amino acids or most of the cytoplasmic tail, were constitutively concentrated in caveolae. By contrast, migration from caveolae required EGF binding, an active receptor kinase domain, and at least one of the five tyrosine residues present in the regulatory domain of the receptor. Movement appears to be modulated by Src kinase, is blocked by activators of protein kinase C, and occurs independently of internalization by clathrin-coated pits. Two mutant receptors previously shown to induce an oncogenic phenotype lack the ability to move from caveolae in response to EGF, suggesting that a prolonged residence in this domain may contribute to abnormal cell behavior.
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