Phosphorylation-Dependent Conformations of the Disordered Carboxyl-Terminus Domain in the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor

Raju Regmi, Shwetha Srinivasan, Andrew P. Latham, Vandna Kukshal, Weidong Cui, Bin Zhang, Ron Bose, Gabriela S. Schlau-Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a receptor tyrosine kinase, regulates basic cellular functions and is a major target for anticancer therapeutics. The carboxyl-terminus domain is a disordered region of EGFR that contains the tyrosine residues, which undergo autophosphorylation followed by docking of signaling proteins. Local phosphorylation-dependent secondary structure has been identified and is thought to be associated with the signaling cascade. Deciphering and distinguishing the overall conformations, however, have been challenging because of the disordered nature of the carboxyl-terminus domain and resultant lack of well-defined three-dimensional structure for most of the domain. We investigated the overall conformational states of the isolated EGFR carboxyl-terminus domain using single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer and coarse-grained simulations. Our results suggest that electrostatic interactions between charged residues emerge within the disordered domain upon phosphorylation, producing a looplike conformation. This conformation may enable binding of downstream signaling proteins and potentially reflect a general mechanism in which electrostatics transiently generate functional architectures in disordered regions of a well-folded protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10037-10044
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 3 2020


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