Multiple in vivo tyrosine phosphorylation sites in EphB receptors

Biochemistry. 1999 Oct 26;38(43):14396-408. doi: 10.1021/bi991628t.


Autophosphorylation regulates the function of receptor tyrosine kinases. To dissect the mechanism by which Eph receptors transmit signals, we have developed an approach using matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry to map systematically their in vivo tyrosine phosphorylation sites. With this approach, phosphorylated peptides from receptors digested with various endoproteinases were selectively isolated on immobilized anti-phosphotyrosine antibodies and analyzed directly by MALDI mass spectrometry. Multiple in vivo tyrosine phosphorylation sites were identified in the juxtamembrane region, kinase domain, and carboxy-terminal tail of EphB2 and EphB5, and found to be remarkably conserved between these EphB receptors. A number of these sites were also identified as in vitro autophosphorylation sites of EphB5 by phosphopeptide mapping using two-dimensional chromatography. Only two in vitro tyrosine phosphorylation sites had previously been directly identified for Eph receptors. Our data further indicate that in vivo EphB2 and EphB5 are also extensively phosphorylated on serine and threonine residues. Because phosphorylation at each site can affect receptor signaling properties, the multiple phosphorylation sites identified here for the EphB receptors suggest a complex regulation of their functions, presumably achieved by autophosphorylation as well as phosphorylation by other kinases. In addition, we show that MALDI mass spectrometry can be used to determine the binding sites for Src homology 2 (SH2) domains by identifying the EphB2 phosphopeptides that bind to the SH2 domain of the Src kinase.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chick Embryo
  • Humans
  • Kidney / cytology
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Peptide Mapping
  • Phosphorylation
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / chemistry
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Receptor, EphB2
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Tyrosine / chemistry
  • Tyrosine / metabolism*
  • src Homology Domains


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tyrosine
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptor, EphB2