Yes and Lyn play a role in nuclear translocation of the epidermal growth factor receptor

Oncogene. 2013 Feb 7;32(6):759-67. doi: 10.1038/onc.2012.90. Epub 2012 Mar 19.


The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a central regulator of tumor progression in human cancers. Cetuximab is an anti-EGFR antibody that has been approved for use in oncology. Previously we investigated mechanisms of resistance to cetuximab using a model derived from the non-small cell lung cancer line NCI-H226. We demonstrated that cetuximab-resistant clones (Ctx(R)) had increased nuclear localization of the EGFR. This process was mediated by Src family kinases (SFKs), and nuclear EGFR had a role in resistance to cetuximab. To better understand SFK-mediated nuclear translocation of EGFR, we investigated which SFK member(s) controlled this process as well as the EGFR tyrosine residues that are involved. Analyses of mRNA and protein expression indicated upregulation of the SFK members Yes (v-Yes-1 yamaguchi sarcoma viral oncogene) and Lyn (v-yes-1 Yamaguchi sarcoma viral-related oncogene homolog) in all Ctx(R) clones. Further, immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that EGFR interacts with Yes and Lyn in Ctx(R) clones, but not in cetuximab-sensitive (Ctx(S)) parental cells. Using RNAi interference, we found that knockdown of either Yes or Lyn led to loss of EGFR translocation to the nucleus. Conversely, overexpression of Yes or Lyn in low nuclear EGFR-expressing Ctx(S) parental cells led to increased nuclear EGFR. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays confirmed nuclear EGFR complexes associated with the promoter of the known EGFR target genes B-Myb and iNOS. Further, all Ctx(R) clones exhibited upregulation of B-Myb and iNOS at the mRNA and protein levels. siRNAs directed at Yes or Lyn led to decreased binding of EGFR complexes to the B-Myb and iNOS promoters based on ChIP analyses. SFKs have been shown to phosphorylate EGFR on tyrosines 845 and 1101 (Y845 and Y1101), and mutation of Y1101, but not Y845, impaired nuclear entry of the EGFR. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that Yes and Lyn phosphorylate EGFR at Y1101, which influences EGFR nuclear translocation in this model of cetuximab resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Cetuximab
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm*
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-yes / metabolism*
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • src-Family Kinases / metabolism*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • MYBL2 protein, human
  • Trans-Activators
  • NOS2 protein, human
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-yes
  • YES1 protein, human
  • lyn protein-tyrosine kinase
  • src-Family Kinases
  • Cetuximab