Identification of the erythropoietin receptor domain required for calcium channel activation

J Biol Chem. 1999 Jul 16;274(29):20465-72. doi: 10.1074/jbc.274.29.20465.


Erythropoietin (Epo) activates a voltage-independent Ca2+ channel that is dependent on tyrosine phosphorylation. To identify the domain(s) of the Epo receptor (Epo-R) required for Epo-induced Ca2+ influx, Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells were transfected with wild-type or mutant Epo receptors subcloned into pTracer-cytomegalovirus vector. This vector contains an SV40 early promoter, which drives expression of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene, and a cytomegalovirus immediate-early promoter driving expression of the Epo-R. Successful transfection was verified in single cells by detection of GFP, and intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca]i) changes were simultaneously monitored with rhod-2. Transfection of CHO cells with pTracer encoding wild-type Epo-R, but not pTracer alone, resulted in an Epo-induced [Ca]i increase that was abolished in cells transfected with Epo-R F8 (all eight cytoplasmic tyrosines substituted). Transfection with carboxyl-terminal deletion mutants indicated that removal of the terminal four tyrosine phosphorylation sites, but not the tyrosine at position 479, abolished Epo-induced [Ca]i increase, suggesting that tyrosines at positions 443, 460, and/or 464 are important. In CHO cells transfected with mutant Epo-R in which phenylalanine was substituted for individual tyrosines, a significant increase in [Ca]i was observed with mutants Epo-R Y443F and Epo-R Y464F. The rise in [Ca]i was abolished in cells transfected with Epo-R Y460F. Results were confirmed with CHO cells transfected with plasmids expressing Epo-R mutants in which individual tyrosines were added back to Epo-R F8 and in stably transfected Ba/F3 cells. These results demonstrate a critical role for the Epo-R cytoplasmic tyrosine 460 in Epo-stimulated Ca2+ influx.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CHO Cells
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium Channels / chemistry
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism*
  • Cricetinae
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Ion Transport
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Receptors, Erythropoietin / genetics
  • Receptors, Erythropoietin / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Tyrosine / metabolism


  • Calcium Channels
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Receptors, Erythropoietin
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Tyrosine
  • Calcium