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The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a receptor tyrosine kinase involved in cell growth that is often misregulated in cancer. Several recent studies highlight the unique structural mechanisms involved in its regulation. Some elucidate the important role that the juxtamembrane segment and the transmembrane helix play in stabilizing the activating asymmetric kinase dimer, and suggest that its activation mechanism is likely to be conserved among the other human EGFR-related receptors. Other studies provide new explanations for two long observed, but poorly understood phenomena, the apparent heterogeneity in ligand binding and the formation of ligand-independent dimers. New insights into the allosteric mechanisms utilized by intracellular regulators of EGFR provide hope that allosteric sites could be used as targets for drug development. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Citation

Nicholas F Endres, Kate Engel, Rahul Das, Erika Kovacs, John Kuriyan. Regulation of the catalytic activity of the EGF receptor. Current opinion in structural biology. 2011 Dec;21(6):777-84

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PMID: 21868214

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