Hydrogen peroxide inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor internalization in human fibroblasts

Free Radic Biol Med. 2000 Jan 1;28(1):28-38. doi: 10.1016/s0891-5849(99)00199-9.


Several cellular signal transduction cascades are affected by oxidative stress. In this study, the effect of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) on the endocytosis of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor was investigated. Exposure of HER14 cells to H2O2 resulted in a concentration-dependent inhibition of EGF receptor internalization. Binding studies demonstrated that this H2O2-induced inhibition in internalization was not due to altered binding of EGF to its receptor. Addition of H2O2 at different time points during internalization showed that EGF receptor internalization was rapidly reduced, suggesting that one of the first steps in the internalization process is inhibited. In addition, H2O2 inhibited the internalization of a different receptor, the chicken hepatic lectin receptor, in a concentration-dependent manner as well. Treatment of cells with another inducer of oxidative stress, cumene hydroperoxide, also resulted in a decreased internalization. Finally, we showed that H2O2 inhibited EGF-induced mono-ubiquitination of the EGF receptor pathway substrate clone 15, a process that normally occurs during EGF receptor endocytosis. These results clearly show that oxidative stress interferes with EGF signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells / drug effects
  • 3T3 Cells / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chickens
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Endocytosis / drug effects*
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / metabolism
  • ErbB Receptors / drug effects*
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology*
  • Ligands
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / drug effects
  • Receptors, Mitogen / drug effects
  • Receptors, Mitogen / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Ubiquitins / metabolism


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Ligands
  • Receptors, Mitogen
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Ubiquitins
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • ErbB Receptors