The classic mode of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-mediated transactivation of the receptor tyrosine kinase epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) transactivation occurs via matrix metalloprotease (MMP)-mediated cleavage of plasma membrane-anchored EGFR ligands. Herein, we show that the Gαs-activating GPCR ligands vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2 ) transactivate EGFR through increased cell-surface delivery of the EGFR ligand transforming growth factor-α (TGFα) in polarizing madin-darby canine kidney (MDCK) and Caco-2 cells. This is achieved by PKA-mediated phosphorylation of naked cuticle homolog 2 (NKD2), previously shown to bind TGFα and direct delivery of TGFα-containing vesicles to the basolateral surface of polarized epithelial cells. VIP and PGE2 rapidly activate protein kinase A (PKA) that then phosphorylates NKD2 at Ser-223, a process that is facilitated by the molecular scaffold A-kinase anchoring protein 12 (AKAP12). This phosphorylation stabilized NKD2, ensuring efficient cell-surface delivery of TGFα and increased EGFR activation. Thus, GPCR-triggered, PKA/AKAP12/NKD2-regulated targeting of TGFα to the cell surface represents a new mode of EGFR transactivation that occurs proximal to ligand cleavage by MMPs.
Keywords: A-kinase anchoring protein 12 (AKAP12); EGFR transactivation; G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR); epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR); naked cuticle homolog 2 (NKD2); protein kinase A (PKA); transforming growth factor-α (TGFα).
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