EGF receptor activity and mitogenic response of Balb/3T3 cells expressing Ras and Myc oncogenes. EGF receptor activity in oncogene transformed cells

Cell Mol Biol. 1992 Sep;38(6):605-14.


EGF receptors are found on the surface of most cells, usually with high and low binding affinities. To investigate functional relationships between EGF (EGF-like growth factors) and oncogenes we have characterized the expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFr) in H-Ras, v-Myc, and H-Ras-v-Myc transformed Balb/3T3 cells. H-Ras cells show a marked decrease in the number of EGFr molecules per cell compared to parental cells. v-Myc and H-Ras-v-Myc transformed cells express an intermediate level of receptors. The majority of the EGF receptors on the parental and oncogene transformed cells bind EGF with low affinity and this low affinity receptor is down-regulated by oncogene transformation. v-Myc expression, in the H-Ras-v-Myc transformed cells, abrogates the receptor down-regulation seen with H-Ras transformation. The mechanism of abrogation is not a result of a change in the p21-Ras concentration in the H-Ras-v-Myc transformed cells. In addition, the mitogenic response to EGF was examined. H-Ras and H-Ras-v-Myc transformed cells do not respond to EGF mitogenically. In contrast, EGF stimulates DNA synthesis in parental cells and v-Myc transfected cells; this result suggests that growth promoting signals from the EGF receptor may not be required in H-Ras transformed cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Animals
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / pharmacology*
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Oncogene Protein p21(ras) / biosynthesis*
  • Oncogene Protein p21(ras) / genetics
  • Oncogene Protein p55(v-myc) / biosynthesis*
  • Oncogene Protein p55(v-myc) / genetics
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Transfection
  • Transferrin / pharmacology


  • Insulin
  • Oncogene Protein p55(v-myc)
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Transferrin
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Oncogene Protein p21(ras)