Grb2-associated binding (Gab) scaffolding/adapter proteins are a family of three members including mammalian Gab1, Gab2, and Gab3 that are highly conserved. Since the discovery of these proteins, there has been an extensive amount of work done to better understand Gab functional roles in multiple signaling pathways, typically acting as a downstream effectors of receptor-tyrosine kinase (RTK)-triggered signal transduction. In addition to their participation in hematopoiesis, Gabs play important roles in regulation of immune response and in also in cancer cell signaling. Gabs may play complex roles and thus a complete understanding of their interactions and how they modulate hematopoietic and immune cell biology remains to be determined. This review will cover the most recent findings including the involvement of Gabs in disease development and signaling which will be important for design of future therapeutic interventions.
Adapter protein; cytokine signaling; Grb2-associated binding protein; Gab; receptor tyrosine kinase; cancer signaling
Grb2-associated binder 1 (Gab1), a scaffolding adaptor protein, plays an important role in transmitting key signals that control cell growth, differentiation and function from multiple tyrosine kinase receptors. The study was designed to investigate the role of endothelial Gab1 in angiogenesis and underlying molecular mechanisms.
Methods and Results
Using cre-loxp technology, we generated endothelial-specific Gab1 knockout (Gab1-ecKO) mice. Gab1-ecKO mice are viable and showed no obvious developmental defects in the vascular system. To analyze the role of Gab1 in postnatal angiogenesis, we used hindlimb ischemia and Matrigel plug models. We found that loss of endothelial Gab1 in mice dramatically impaired postnatal angiogenesis. Gab1-ecKO mice had impaired ischemia-initiated blood flow recovery, exhibited reduced angiogenesis and were associated with marked limb necrosis. We further observed significant EC death in the ischemic hindlimb of Gab1-ecKO mice. Matrigel plug assay showed that hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-mediated angiogenesis was inhibited in Gab1-ecKO mice. In vitro studies showed that Gab1 was required for HGF-induced EC migration, tube formation and microvessel sprouting. Mechanistically, HGF stimulated Gab1 tyrosine phosphorylation in ECs, leading to activation of ERK1/2 and Akt, which are angiogenic and survival signaling.
Gab1 is essential for postnatal angiogenesis through mediating angiogenic and survival signaling.
Gab1; angiogenesis; hindlimb ischemia; hepatocyte growth factor; endothelial cells
The Gab family of docking proteins (Gab1 and Gab2) are
phosphorylated in response to various cytokines and growth factors.
Gab1 acts to diversify the signal downstream from the Met receptor
tyrosine kinase through the recruitment of multiple signaling proteins,
and is essential for epithelial morphogenesis. To determine whether
Gab1 and Gab2 are functionally redundant, we have examined the role of
Gab2 in epithelial cells. Both Gab1 and Gab2 are expressed in
epithelial cells and localize to cell-cell junctions. However, whereas
overexpression of Gab1 promotes a morphogenic response, the
overexpression of Gab2 fails to induce this response. We show that Gab2
recruitment to the Met receptor is dependent on the Grb2 adapter
protein. In contrast, Gab1 recruitment to Met is both Grb2 dependent
and Grb2 independent. The latter requires a novel amino acid sequence
present in the Met-binding domain of Gab1 but not Gab2. Mutation of
these residues in Gab1 impairs both association with the Met receptor
and the ability of Gab1 to promote a morphogenic response, whereas
their insertion into Gab2 increases Gab2 association with Met, but does
not confer on Gab2 the ability to promote epithelial morphogenesis. We
propose that the Grb2-independent recruitment of Gab proteins to Met is
necessary but not sufficient to promote epithelial morphogenesis.
The Grb-2 associated binder (Gab) family of scaffolding/adaptor/docking proteins is a group of three molecules with significant roles in cytokine receptor signaling. Gabs possess structural motifs for phosphorylation-dependent receptor recruitment, Grb2 binding, and activation of downstream signaling pathways through p85 and SHP-2. In addition, Gabs participate in hematopoiesis and regulation of immune response which can be aberrantly activated in cancer and inflammation. The multifunctionality of Gab adapters might suggest that they would be too difficult to consider as candidates for “targeted” therapy. However, the one drug/one target approach is giving way to the concept of one drug/multiple target approach since few cancers are addicted to a single signaling molecule for survival and combination drug therapies can be problematic. In this paper, we cover recent findings on Gab multi-functionality, binding partners, and their role in hematological malignancy and examine the concept of Gab-targeted therapy.
Grb2-associated binding (Gab) adapter proteins play major roles in coordinating signaling downstream of hematopoietic cytokine receptors. In hematopoietic cells, Gab2 can modulate phosphatidylinositol–3 kinase and mitogen associated protein kinase activities and regulate the long-term multilineage competitive repopulating activity of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Gab2 may also act in a linear pathway upstream or downstream of signal transducer and activator of transcription-5 (STAT5), a major positive regulator of HSC function. Therefore, we aimed to determine whether Gab2 and STAT5 function in hematopoiesis in a redundant or non-redundant manner.
To do this we generated Gab2 mutant mice with heterozygous and homozygous deletions of STAT5. In heterozygous STAT5 mutant mice, deficiencies in HSC/multipotent progenitors were reflected by decreased long-term repopulating activity. This reduction in repopulation function was mirrored in the reduced growth response to early-acting cytokines from sorted double mutant c-Kit+Lin−Sca-1+ (KLS) cells. Importantly, in non-ablated newborn mice, the host steady-state engraftment ability was impaired by loss of Gab2 in heterozygous STAT5 mutant background. Fetal liver cells isolated from homozygous STAT5 mutant mice lacking Gab2 showed significant reduction in HSC number (KLS CD150+CD48−), reduced HSC survival, and dramatic loss of self-renewal potential as measured by serial transplantation.
These data demonstrate new functions for Gab2 in hematopoiesis in a manner that is non-redundant with STAT5. Furthermore, important synergy between STAT5 and Gab2 was observed in HSC self-renewal, which might be exploited to optimize stem cell-based therapeutics.
Grb2-associated binder 2 (Gab2), a member of the Dos/Gab subfamily scaffolding molecules, plays important roles in regulating the growth, differentiation, and function of many hematopoietic cell types. In this paper, we reveal a novel function of Gab2 in Fcγ receptor (FcγR)–initiated phagocytosis in macrophages. Upon FcγR activation, Gab2 becomes tyrosyl phosphorylated and associated with p85, the regulatory subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), and the protein–tyrosine phosphatidylinositol Shp-2. FcγR-mediated phagocytosis is severely impaired in bone marrow–derived macrophages from Gab2−/− mice. The defect in phagocytosis correlates with decreased FcγR-evoked activation of Akt, a downstream target of PI3K. Using confocal fluorescence microscopy, we find that Gab2 is recruited to the nascent phagosome, where de novo PI3K lipid production occurs. Gab2 recruitment requires the pleckstrin homology domain of Gab2 and is sensitive to treatment with the PI3K inhibitor wortmannin. The Grb2 binding site on Gab2 also plays an auxiliary role in recruitment to the phagosome. Because PI3K activity is required for FcγR-mediated phagocytosis, our results indicate that Gab2 acts as a key component of FcγR-mediated phagocytosis, most likely by amplifying PI3K signaling in the nascent phagosome.
macrophages; PI3K; phagocytosis; FcγR; PH domain
The hepatocyte growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase Met promotes cell dissociation and the inherent morphogenic program of epithelial cells. In a search for substrates downstream from Met, we have previously identified the Grb2-associated binder-1 (Gab1) as critical for the morphogenic program. Gab1 is a scaffold protein that acts to diversify the signal downstream from the Met receptor through its ability to couple with multiple signal transduction pathways. Gab1 contains a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain with specificity for phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate. The phospholipid binding capacity of the Gab1 PH domain is required for the localization of Gab1 at sites of cell-cell contact in colonies of epithelial cells and for epithelial morphogenesis, suggesting that PH domain-dependent subcellular localization of Gab1 is a prerequisite for function. We have investigated the requirement for membrane localization of Gab1 for biological activity. We show that substitution of the Gab1 PH domain with the myristoylation signal from the c-Src protein is sufficient to replace the Gab1 PH domain for epithelial morphogenesis. The membrane targeting of Gab1 enhances Rac activity in the absence of stimulation and switches a nonmorphogenic noninvasive response to epidermal growth factor to a morphogenic invasive program. These results suggest that the subcellular localization of Gab1 is a critical determinant for epithelial morphogenesis and invasiveness.
Using the FDC-P1 cell line expressing the exogenous macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) receptor, Fms, we have analyzed the role of a new mammalian DOS/Gab-related signaling protein, called Gab3, in macrophage cell development of the mouse. Gab3 contains an amino-terminal pleckstrin homology domain, multiple potential sites for tyrosine phosphorylation and SH2 domain binding, and two major polyproline motifs potentially interacting with SH3 domains. Among the growing family of Gab proteins, Gab3 exhibits a unique and overlapping pattern of expression in tissues of the mouse compared with Gab1 and Gab2. Gab3 is more restricted to the hematopoietic tissues such as spleen and thymus but is detectable at progressively lower levels within heart, kidney, uterus, and brain. Like Gab2, Gab3 is tyrosine phosphorylated after M-CSF receptor stimulation and associates transiently with the SH2 domain-containing proteins p85 and SHP2. Overexpression of exogenous Gab3 in FD-Fms cells dramatically accelerates macrophage differentiation upon M-CSF stimulation. Unlike Gab2, which shows a constant mRNA expression level after M-CSF stimulation, Gab3 expression is initially absent or low in abundance in FD cells expressing the wild-type Fms, but Gab3 mRNA levels are increased upon M-CSF stimulation. Moreover, M-CSF stimulation of FD-FmsY807F cells (which grow but do not differentiate) fails to increase Gab3 expression. These results suggest that Gab3 is important for macrophage differentiation and that differentiation requires the early phosphorylation of Gab2 followed by induction and subsequent phosphorylation of Gab3.
Gab proteins are intracellular scaffolding and docking molecules involved in signaling pathways mediated by various growth factor, cytokine, or antigen receptors. Gab3 has been shown to act downstream of the macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor, c-Fms, and to be important for macrophage differentiation. To analyze the physiological role of Gab3, we used homologous recombination to generate mice deficient in Gab3. Gab3−/− mice develop normally, are visually indistinguishable from their wild-type littermates, and are healthy and fertile. To obtain a detailed expression pattern of Gab3, we generated Gab3-specific monoclonal antibodies. Immunoblotting revealed a predominant expression of Gab3 in lymphocytes and bone marrow-derived macrophages. However, detailed analysis demonstrated that hematopoiesis in mice lacking Gab3 is not impaired and that macrophages develop in normal numbers and exhibit normal function. The lack of Gab3 expression during macrophage differentiation is not compensated for by increased levels of Gab1 or Gab2 mRNA. Furthermore, Gab3-deficient mice have no major immune deficiency in T- and B-lymphocyte responses to protein antigens or during viral infection. In addition, allergic responses in Gab3-deficient mice appeared to be normal. Together, these data demonstrate that loss of Gab3 does not result in detectable defects in normal mouse development, hematopoiesis, or immune system function.
The scaffolding adapter protein Gab2 (Grb2-associated binder) participates in the signaling response evoked by various growth factors and cytokines. Gab2 is overexpressed in several human malignancies, including breast cancer, and was shown to promote mammary epithelial cell migration. The role of Gab2 in the activation of different signaling pathways is well documented, but less is known regarding the feedback mechanisms responsible for its inactivation. We now demonstrate that activation of the Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway promotes Gab2 phosphorylation on basic consensus motifs. More specifically, we show that RSK (p90 ribosomal S6 kinase) phosphorylates Gab2 on three conserved residues, both in vivo and in vitro. Mutation of these phosphorylation sites does not alter Gab2 binding to Grb2, but instead, we show that Gab2 phosphorylation inhibits the recruitment of the tyrosine phosphatase Shp2 in response to growth factors. Expression of an unphosphorylatable Gab2 mutant in mammary epithelial cells promotes an invasion-like phenotype and increases cell motility. Taken together, these results suggest that RSK is part of a negative-feedback loop that restricts Gab2-dependent epithelial cell motility. On the basis of the widespread role of Gab2 in receptor signaling, these findings also suggest that RSK plays a regulatory function in diverse receptor systems.
Objective: Grb2-associated binder 2 (Gab2), a member of the family of Gab scaffolding adaptors, transmits and amplifies the signals from receptor tyrosine kinases. A recent study demonstrated that Gab2 was over-expressed in breast cancers and metastatic melanomas, and Gab2 was an oncogenic protein. However, the roles of Gab2 in lung cancers are largely unknown.
Method: In this study, to investigate whether Gab2 expression could be a characteristic of lung cancers, we analyzed the expression of Gab2 in 88 lung frozen tissue samples and 122 paraffin-embedded tissue specimens, using quantitative real-time-PCR, immunohistochemistry and western blot.
Results: We found that the positive expression rate of Gab2 in the tumor tissues, as detected by immunohistochemistry, 62.5% in squamous cell cancers, 51.35% in adenocarcinomas, and 75% in other types of lung cancers, was significantly higher than that (12%) in normal lung tissues. The mRNA expression detected by quantitative real-time-PCR and protein expression detected by western blotting in different groups were consistent with the immunohistochemical results.
Conclusion: Our data indicate that Gab2 is over-expressed in malignant lung tissues compared with that in normal lung tissues, and suggest that Gab2 expression may play a role in lung cancer development.
Gab2; lung cancer; quantitative real-time-PCR; immunohistochemistry; western blot
The docking proteins of the Grb2-associated binder (Gab) family have emerged as crucial signaling compartments in metazoans. In mammals, the Gab proteins, consisting of Gab1, Gab2, and Gab3, are involved in the amplification and integration of signal transduction evoked by a variety of extracellular stimuli, including growth factors, cytokines, antigens, and other molecules. Gab proteins lack the enzymatic activity themselves; however, when phosphorylated on tyrosine residues, they provide binding sites for multiple Src homology-2 (SH2) domain-containing proteins, such as SH2-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase 2 (SHP2), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase regulatory subunit p85, phospholipase Cγ, Crk, and GC-GAP. Through these interactions, the Gab proteins transduce signals from activated receptors into pathways with distinct biological functions, thereby contributing to signal diversification. They are known to play crucial roles in numerous physiological processes through their associations with SHP2 and p85. In addition, abnormal Gab protein signaling has been linked to human diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and inflammatory disorders. In this paper, we provide an overview of the structure, effector functions, and regulation of the Gab docking proteins, with a special focus on their associations with cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammation.
Grb2-associated binder 1 (GAB1) is a scaffold protein involved in numerous interactions that propagate signaling by growth factor and cytokine receptors. Here we explore in silico and validate in vivo the role of GAB1 in the control of mitogenic (Ras/MAPK) and survival (PI3K/Akt) signaling stimulated by epidermal growth factor (EGF). We built a comprehensive mechanistic model that allows for reliable predictions of temporal patterns of cellular responses to EGF under diverse perturbations, including different EGF doses, GAB1 suppression, expression of mutant proteins and pharmacological inhibitors. We show that the temporal dynamics of GAB1 tyrosine phosphorylation is significantly controlled by positive GAB1-PI3K feedback and negative MAPK-GAB1 feedback. Our experimental and computational results demonstrate that the essential function of GAB1 is to enhance PI3K/Akt activation and extend the duration of Ras/MAPK signaling. By amplifying positive interactions between survival and mitogenic pathways, GAB1 plays the critical role in cell proliferation and tumorigenesis.
Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) play distinct roles in multiple biological systems. Many RTKs transmit similar signals, raising questions about how specificity is achieved. One potential mechanism for RTK specificity is control of the magnitude and kinetics of activation of downstream pathways. We have found that the protein tyrosine phosphatase Shp2 regulates the strength and duration of phosphatidylinositol 3′-kinase (PI3K) activation in the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor signaling pathway. Shp2 mutant fibroblasts exhibit increased association of the p85 subunit of PI3K with the scaffolding adapter Gab1 compared to that for wild-type (WT) fibroblasts or Shp2 mutant cells reconstituted with WT Shp2. Far-Western analysis suggests increased phosphorylation of p85 binding sites on Gab1. Gab1-associated PI3K activity is increased and PI3K-dependent downstream signals are enhanced in Shp2 mutant cells following EGF stimulation. Analogous results are obtained in fibroblasts inducibly expressing dominant-negative Shp2. Our results suggest that, in addition to its role as a positive component of the Ras-Erk pathway, Shp2 negatively regulates EGF-dependent PI3K activation by dephosphorylating Gab1 p85 binding sites, thereby terminating a previously proposed Gab1-PI3K positive feedback loop. Activation of PI3K-dependent pathways following stimulation by other growth factors is unaffected or decreased in Shp2 mutant cells. Thus, Shp2 regulates the kinetics and magnitude of RTK signaling in a receptor-specific manner.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signal transduction is central to angiogenesis in development and in pathological conditions such as cancer, retinopathy and ischemic diseases. However, no detailed mass-action models of VEGF receptor signaling have been developed. We constructed and validated the first computational model of VEGFR2 trafficking and signaling, to study the opposing roles of Gab1 and Gab2 in regulation of Akt phosphorylation in VEGF-stimulated endothelial cells. Trafficking parameters were optimized against 5 previously published in vitro experiments, and the model was validated against six independent published datasets. The model showed agreement at several key nodes, involving scaffolding proteins Gab1, Gab2 and their complexes with Shp2. VEGFR2 recruitment of Gab1 is greater in magnitude, slower, and more sustained than that of Gab2. As Gab2 binds VEGFR2 complexes more transiently than Gab1, VEGFR2 complexes can recycle and continue to participate in other signaling pathways. Correspondingly, the simulation results show a log-linear relationship between a decrease in Akt phosphorylation and Gab1 knockdown while a linear relationship was observed between an increase in Akt phosphorylation and Gab2 knockdown. Global sensitivity analysis demonstrated the importance of initial-concentration ratios of antagonistic molecular species (Gab1/Gab2 and PI3K/Shp2) in determining Akt phosphorylation profiles. It also showed that kinetic parameters responsible for transient Gab2 binding affect the system at specific nodes. This model can be expanded to study multiple signaling contexts and receptor crosstalk and can form a basis for investigation of therapeutic approaches, such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), overexpression of key signaling proteins or knockdown experiments.
Grb2-associated binder (Gab) family of scaffolding adaptor proteins coordinate signaling cascades downstream of growth factor and cytokine receptors. In the heart, among EGF family members, neuregulin-1β (NRG-1β, a paracrine factor produced from endothelium) induced remarkable tyrosine phosphorylation of Gab1 and Gab2 via erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene (ErbB) receptors. We examined the role of Gab family proteins in NRG-1β/ErbB-mediated signal in the heart by creating cardiomyocyte-specific Gab1/Gab2 double knockout mice (DKO mice). Although DKO mice were viable, they exhibited marked ventricular dilatation and reduced contractility with aging. DKO mice showed high mortality after birth because of heart failure. In addition, we noticed remarkable endocardial fibroelastosis and increase of abnormally dilated vessels in the ventricles of DKO mice. NRG-1β induced activation of both ERK and AKT in the hearts of control mice but not in those of DKO mice. Using DNA microarray analysis, we found that stimulation with NRG-1β upregulated expression of an endothelium-stabilizing factor, angiopoietin 1, in the hearts of control mice but not in those of DKO mice, which accounted for the pathological abnormalities in the DKO hearts. Taken together, our observations indicated that in the NRG-1β/ErbB signaling, Gab1 and Gab2 of the myocardium are essential for both maintenance of myocardial function and stabilization of cardiac capillary and endocardial endothelium in the postnatal heart.
Since their discovery a little more than a decade ago, the docking proteins of the Gab/DOS family have emerged as important signalling elements in metazoans. Gab/DOS proteins integrate and amplify signals from a wide variety of sources including growth factor, cytokine and antigen receptors as well as cell adhesion molecules. They also contribute to signal diversification by channelling the information from activated receptors into signalling pathways with distinct biological functions. Recent approaches in protein biochemistry and systems biology have revealed that Gab proteins are subject to complex regulation by feed-forward and feedback phosphorylation events as well as protein-protein interactions. Thus, Gab/DOS docking proteins are at the centre of entire signalling subsystems and fulfil an important if not essential role in many physiological processes. Furthermore, aberrant signalling by Gab proteins has been increasingly linked to human diseases from various forms of neoplasia to Alzheimer's disease.
In this review, we provide a detailed overview of the structure, effector functions, regulation and evolution of the Gab/DOS family. We also summarize recent findings implicating Gab proteins, in particular the Gab2 isoform, in leukaemia, solid tumours and other human diseases.
The Gab1 protein is tyrosine phosphorylated in response to various growth factors and serves as a docking protein that recruits a number of downstream signaling proteins, including phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI-3 kinase). To determine the role of Gab1 in signaling via the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) we tested the ability of Gab1 to associate with and modulate signaling by this receptor. We show that Gab1 associates with the EGFR in vivo and in vitro via pTyr sites 1068 and 1086 in the carboxy-terminal tail of the receptor and that overexpression of Gab1 potentiates EGF-induced activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase and Jun kinase signaling pathways. A mutant of Gab1 unable to bind the p85 subunit of PI-3 kinase is defective in potentiating EGFR signaling, confirming a role for PI-3 kinase as a downstream effector of Gab1. Inhibition of PI-3 kinase by a dominant-interfering mutant of p85 or by Wortmannin treatment similarly impairs Gab1-induced enhancement of signaling via the EGFR. The PH domain of Gab1 was shown to bind specifically to phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-triphosphate [PtdIns(3,4,5)P3], a product of PI-3 kinase, and is required for activation of Gab1-mediated enhancement of EGFR signaling. Moreover, the PH domain mediates Gab1 translocation to the plasma membrane in response to EGF and is required for efficient tyrosine phosphorylation of Gab1 upon EGF stimulation. In addition, overexpression of Gab1 PH domain blocks Gab1 potentiation of EGFR signaling. Finally, expression of the gene for the lipid phosphatase PTEN, which dephosphorylates PtdIns(3,4,5)P3, inhibits EGF signaling and translocation of Gab1 to the plasma membrane. These results reveal a novel positive feedback loop, modulated by PTEN, in which PI-3 kinase functions as both an upstream regulator and a downstream effector of Gab1 in signaling via the EGFR.
A docking protein, Gab2, is recruited to the vicinity of the TCR complex and inhibits downstream signaling by interaction with negative regulators. However, the molecular mechanisms of this recruitment remain unclear. We have found that Gab2 associates with LAT upon TCR stimulation and that LAT is essential for Gab2 phosphorylation. By analysis of several Gab2 mutants, the c-Met binding domain (MBD) of Gab2 was found to be both necessary and sufficient for stimulation-induced LAT binding. Within the MBD domain, a novel Grb2 SH3 binding motif, PXXXR, is critical for constitutive association with Gads/Grb2. Through this association, Gab2 is recruited to the lipid raft after TCR ligation and exerts inhibitory function. The in vivo significance of this association is illustrated by the fact that T-cell responses are impaired in transgenic mice expressing wild-type Gab2 but not in mice expressing mutant Gab2 lacking the motif. Furthermore, T cells from Gab2-deficient mice showed enhanced proliferative responses upon TCR stimulation. These results indicate that Gads/Grb2-mediated LAT association is critical for the inhibitory function of Gab2, implying that Gab2 induced in stimulated T cells may exert an efficient negative feedback loop by recruiting inhibitory molecules to the lipid raft and competing with SLP-76 through Gads binding.
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), the major cytokine regulator of neutrophilic granulopoiesis, stimulates both the proliferation and differentiation of myeloid precursors. A variety of signaling proteins have been identified as mediators of G-CSF signaling, but understanding of their specific interactions and organization into signaling pathways for particular cellular effects is incomplete. The present study examined the role of the scaffolding protein Grb2-associated binding protein-2 (Gab2) in G-CSF signaling. We found that a chemical inhibitor of Janus kinases inhibited G-CSF-stimulated Gab2 phosphorylation. Transfection with Jak2 antisense and dominant negative constructs also inhibited Gab2 phosphorylation in response to G-CSF. In addition, G-CSF enhanced the association of Jak2 with Gab2. In vitro, activated Jak2 directly phosphorylated specific Gab2 tyrosine residues. Mutagenesis studies revealed that Gab2 tyrosine 643 (Y643) was a major target of Jak2 in vitro, and a key residue for Jak2-dependent phosphorylation in intact cells. Mutation of Gab2 Y643 inhibited G-CSF-stimulated Erk1/2 activation and Shp2 binding to Gab2. Loss of Y643 also inhibited Gab2-mediated G-CSF-stimulated cell proliferation. Together, these results identify a novel signaling pathway involving Jak2-dependent Gab2 phosphorylation leading to Erk1/2 activation and cell proliferation in response to G-CSF.
Jak2; Gab2; cytokine signaling; myeloproliferative disorders; granulocyte colony-stimulating factor
Adaptor or scaffolding proteins mediate protein-protein interactions that drive the formation of protein complexes. GAB2 scaffolding protein is an intermediary molecule that links plasma membrane receptor signaling including receptor tyrosine kinases with the downstream effectors such as SHP2, p85 subunit of PI3K, PLCγ, CRK, SHC and SHIP. Although well described in signal transduction, its role in cancer has recently been emerging especially in leukemia, breast and ovarian cancer, and melanoma. GAB2 is essential for two major signal transduction pathways in cancer, thePI3K-AKT and ERK signaling pathways, and thus regulates a number of key cellular processes. This review focuses on structure and function of GAB2, its regulatory proteins, emerging role in cancer, and potential as a therapeutic target.
Adaptor; scaffold; cancer; GAB2
Gab1 is a docking protein that recruits phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI-3 kinase) and other effector proteins in response to the activation of many receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). As the autophosphorylation sites on EGF-receptor (EGFR) do not include canonical PI-3 kinase binding sites, it is thought that EGF stimulation of PI-3 kinase and its downstream effector Akt is mediated by an indirect mechanism.
We used fibroblasts isolated from Gab1-/- mouse embryos to explore the mechanism of EGF stimulation of the PI-3 kinase/Akt anti-apoptotic cell signaling pathway. We demonstrate that Gab1 is essential for EGF stimulation of PI-3 kinase and Akt in these cells and that these responses are mediated by complex formation between p85, the regulatory subunit of PI-3 kinase, and three canonical tyrosine phosphorylation sites on Gab1. Furthermore, complex formation between Gab1 and the protein tyrosine phosphatase Shp2 negatively regulates Gab1 mediated PI-3 kinase and Akt activation following EGF-receptor stimulation. We also demonstrate that tyrosine phosphorylation of ErbB3 may lead to recruitment and activation of PI-3 kinase and Akt in Gab1-/- MEFs.
The primary mechanism of EGF-induced stimulation of the PI-3 kinase/Akt anti-apoptotic pathway occurs via the docking protein Gab1. However, in cells expressing ErbB3, EGF and neuroregulin can stimulate PI-3 kinase and Akt activation in a Gab1-dependent or Gab1-independent manner.
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-stimulated mitogenesis, motogenesis and morphogenesis in various cell types begins with activation of the Met receptor tyrosine kinase and the recruitment of intracellular adaptors and kinase substrates. The adapter protein Gab1 is a critical effector and substrate of activated Met, mediating morphogenesis, among other activities, in epithelial cells. To define its role downstream of Met in hematopoietic cells, Gab1 was expressed in the HGF-responsive, Gab1-negative murine myeloid cell line 32D. Interestingly, the adhesion and motility of Gab1-expressing cells were significantly greater than parental cells, independent of growth factor treatment. Downstream of activated Met, Gab1 expression was specifically associated with rapid Shp-2 recruitment and activation, increased mitogenic potency, suppression of GATA-1 expression and concomitant upregulation of GATA-2 transcription. In addition to enhanced proliferation, continuous culture of Gab1-expressing 32D cells in HGF resulted in cell attachment, filopodia extension and phenotypic changes suggestive of monocytic differentiation. Our results suggest that in myeloid cells, Gab1 is likely to enhance HGF mitogenicity by coupling Met to Shp-2 and GATA-2 expression, thereby potentially contributing to normal myeloid differentiation as well as oncogenic transformation.
HGF; Met; Gab1; Shp-2; myeloid cells
Mona/Gads is a Grb2-related, Src homology 3 (SH3) and SH2 domain-containing adapter protein whose expression is restricted to cells of hematopoietic lineage (i.e., monocytes and T lymphocytes). During monocyte/macrophage differentiation, Mona is induced and interacts with the macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor, M-CSFR (also called Fms), suggesting that Mona could be involved in developmental signaling downstream of the M-CSFR by recruiting additional signaling proteins to the activated receptor. Our present results identify Mona as a specific partner protein for the DOS/Gab family member Gab3 in monocytic/macrophage development. Mona does not interact with Gab2; however, Gab3 also forms a complex with the Mona-related adapter Grb2. Glutathione S-transferase pull-down experiments demonstrate that the Mona and Gab3 interaction utilizes the carboxy-terminal SH3 domain of Mona and the atypical proline-rich domain of Gab3. Mona is known to interact with the phosphorylated Y697 site of the M-CSFR. The M-CSFR mutation Y697F exhibited qualitative and quantitative abnormalities in receptor and Gab3 tyrosine phosphorylation, and Mona induction was greatly reduced. The Y807F M-CSFR mutation is defective in differentiation signaling, but not growth signaling, and also fails to induce Mona protein expression. During M-CSF-stimulated macrophage differentiation of mouse bone marrow cells, Mona and Gab3 expression is coinduced, these proteins interact, and Mona engages in multimolecular complexes. These data suggest that association of Mona and Gab3 plays a specific role in mediating the M-CSFR differentiation signal.
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), the ligand for the Met receptor tyrosine kinase, induces epithelial cell dispersal, invasion, and morphogenesis, events that require remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. The scaffold protein Gab1 is essential for these biological responses downstream from Met. We have identified p21-activated kinase 4 (Pak4) as a novel Gab1-interacting protein. We show that in response to HGF, Gab1 and Pak4 associate and colocalize at the cell periphery within lamellipodia. The association between Pak4 and Gab1 is dependent on Gab1 phosphorylation but independent of Pak4 kinase activity. The interaction is mediated through a region in Gab1, which displays no homology to known Gab1 interaction motifs and through the guanine exchange factor-interacting domain of Pak4. In response to HGF, Gab1 and Pak4 synergize to enhance epithelial cell dispersal, migration, and invasion, whereas knockdown of Pak4 attenuates these responses. A Gab1 mutant unable to recruit Pak4 fails to promote epithelial cell dispersal and an invasive morphogenic program in response to HGF, demonstrating a physiological requirement for Gab1-Pak4 association. These data demonstrate a novel association between Gab1 and Pak4 and identify Pak4 as a key integrator of cell migration and invasive growth downstream from the Met receptor.