Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) regulate critical cell signaling pathways, yet the properties of their cognate ligands that influence receptor activation are not fully understood. There is great interest in parsing these complex ligand-receptor relationships using engineered proteins with altered binding properties. Here we focus on the interaction between two engineered epidermal growth factor (EGF) mutants and the EGF receptor (EGFR), a model member of the RTK superfamily. We found that EGF mutants with faster kinetic on-rates stimulate increased EGFR activation compared to wild-type EGF. These findings support previous predictions that faster association rates correlate with enhanced receptor activity.
Copyright © 2011 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.