Interplay of the proto-oncogene proteins CrkL and CrkII in insulin-like growth factor-I receptor-mediated signal transduction

Anatoliy P. Koval, Michael Karas, Yehiel Zick, Derek LeRoith

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39 Scopus citations


The closely related proto-oncogene proteins CrkII and CrkL consist of one SH2 and two SH3 domains and share 60% overall homology with the highest identity within their functional domains. In this study we show that CrkL and CrkII may play overlapping but different roles in insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I receptor-mediated signal transduction. While both proteins are substrates involved in IGF-I receptor signaling, they apparently demonstrate important different properties and different biological responses. Evidence supporting this hypothesis includes (a) the oncogenic potential of CrkL versus the absence of this potential in CrkII overexpressing cell lines, (b) the inhibition of IGF-I-dependent cell cycle progression by overexpression of CrkII, and (c) the differential regulation of the phosphorylation status of selective proteins in CrkII and CrkL overexpressing cell lines. In addition we demonstrate the specific association of CrkL and CrkII with the newly characterized IRS-4 protein, again in a differential manner. Whereas CrkL strongly interacts with IRS-4 via its SH2 and N-terminal SH3 domains, CrkII interacts only via its SH2 domain, possibly explaining the unstable nature of IRS-4-CrkII association. The results obtained allow us to propose a unique mechanism of CrkL and CrkII tyrosine phosphorylation in response to IGF-I stimulation. Thus these highly homologous proteins apparently possess structural features that allow for the differential association of each protein with different effector molecules, thereby activating different signaling pathways and resulting in unique biological roles of these proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14780-14787
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number24
StatePublished - 12 Jun 1998
Externally publishedYes


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