Nuclear trafficking of the epidermal growth factor receptor family membrane proteins

Oncogene. 2010 Jul 15;29(28):3997-4006. doi: 10.1038/onc.2010.157. Epub 2010 May 17.


Multiple membrane-bound receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), such as the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and ErbB-2, have been reported to be localized in the nucleus, where emerging evidence suggests that they are involved in transcriptional regulation, cell proliferation, DNA repair and chemo- and radio-resistance. Recent studies have shown that endocytosis and endosomal sorting are involved in the nuclear transport of cell surface RTKs. However, the detailed mechanism by which the full-length receptors embedded in the endosomal membrane travel all the way from the cell surface to the early endosomes and pass through the nuclear pore complexes is unknown. This important area has been overlooked for decades, which has hindered progress in our understanding of nuclear RTKs' functions. Here, we discuss the putative mechanisms by which EGFR family RTKs are shuttled into the nucleus. Understanding the trafficking mechanisms as to how RTKs are transported from the cell surface to the nucleus will significantly contribute to understanding the functions of the nuclear RTKs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport


  • Membrane Proteins
  • ErbB Receptors