Tyrosine phosphorylation controls PCNA function through protein stability

Nat Cell Biol. 2006 Dec;8(12):1359-68. doi: 10.1038/ncb1501. Epub 2006 Nov 19.


The proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) is an essential protein for DNA replication and damage repair. How its function is controlled remains an important question. Here, we show that the chromatin-bound PCNA protein is phosphorylated on Tyr 211, which is required for maintaining its function on chromatin and is dependent on the tyrosine kinase activity of EGF receptor (EGFR) in the nucleus. Phosphorylation on Tyr 211 by EGFR stabilizes chromatin-bound PCNA protein and associated functions. Consistently, increased PCNA Tyr 211 phosphorylation coincides with pronounced cell proliferation, and is better correlated with poor survival of breast cancer patients, as well as nuclear EGFR in tumours, than is the total PCNA level. These results identify a novel nuclear mechanism linking tyrosine kinase receptor function with the regulation of the PCNA sliding clamp.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • DNA Repair
  • DNA Replication
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phosphotyrosine / metabolism*
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / chemistry*
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Thermodynamics


  • Chromatin
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Phosphotyrosine
  • ErbB Receptors