Epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) signalling regulates diverse cellular functions, promoting cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, cell growth and survival. EGFR signalling is critical during embryogenesis, in particular in epithelial development, and disruption of the EGFR gene results in epithelial immaturity and perinatal death. EGFR signalling also functions during wound healing responses through accelerating wound re-epithelialisation, inducing cell migration, proliferation and angiogenesis. Upregulation of EGFR signalling is often observed in carcinomas and has been shown to promote uncontrolled cell proliferation and metastasis. Therefore aberrant EGFR signalling is a common target for anticancer therapies. Various reports indicate that EGFR signalling primarily occurs at the plasma membrane and EGFR degradation following endocytosis greatly attenuates signalling. Other studies argue that EGFR internalisation is essential for complete activation of downstream signalling cascades and that endosomes can serve as signalling platforms. The aim of this review is to discuss current understanding of intersection between EGFR signalling and trafficking.
Keywords: Cancer; EGFR ligands; EGFR signalling; EGFR trafficking; Endocytosis.
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