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  1. Abstract

    Mechanistic understanding of oncogenic variants facilitates the development and optimization of treatment strategies. We recently identified in-frame, tandem duplication ofEGFRexons 18 - 25, which causes EGFR Kinase Domain Duplication (EGFR-KDD). Here, we characterize the prevalence ofERBBfamily KDDs across multiple human cancers and evaluate the functional biochemistry of EGFR-KDD as it relates to pathogenesis and potential therapeutic intervention. We provide computational and experimental evidence that EGFR-KDD functions by forming asymmetric EGF-independent intra-molecular and EGF-dependent inter-molecular dimers. Time-resolved fluorescence microscopy and co-immunoprecipitation reveals EGFR-KDD can form ligand-dependent inter-molecular homo- and hetero-dimers/multimers. Furthermore, we show that inhibition of EGFR-KDD activity is maximallymore »achieved by blocking both intra- and inter-molecular dimerization. Collectively, our findings define a previously unrecognized model of EGFR dimerization, providing important insights for the understanding of EGFR activation mechanisms and informing personalized treatment of patients with tumors harboring EGFR-KDD. Finally, we establishERBBKDDs as recurrent oncogenic events in multiple cancers.

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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  3. Mitochondrial membrane dynamics is a cellular rheostat that relates metabolic function and organelle morphology. Using an in vitro reconstitution system, we describe a mechanism for how mitochondrial inner-membrane fusion is regulated by the ratio of two forms of Opa1. We found that the long-form of Opa1 (l-Opa1) is sufficient for membrane docking, hemifusion and low levels of content release. However, stoichiometric levels of the processed, short form of Opa1 (s-Opa1) work together with l-Opa1 to mediate efficient and fast membrane pore opening. Additionally, we found that excess levels of s-Opa1 inhibit fusion activity, as seen under conditions of altered proteostasis.more »These observations describe a mechanism for gating membrane fusion.« less
  4. Electrostatic interactions drive molecular assembly and organization in the plasma membrane. Specific protein-lipid interactions, however, are difficult to resolve. Here we report on a unique approach to investigate these interactions with time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy. The experiments were performed on a model membrane system consisting of a supported lipid bilayer with an asymmetric distribution of PIP2 in the upper leaflet of the bilayer. The bilayer also contained nickel-chelating lipids that bind to a histidine-tagged peptide of interest. Both the peptide and the lipid were labeled with orthogonal fluorescent probes, so that diffusion and binding could be measured with two-color, pulsed-interleaved excitationmore »fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy (PIE-FCCS). Our PIE-FCCS data showed significant lipid-peptide cross-correlation between PIP2 lipids and membrane-bound cationic peptides. Cross-correlation is a direct indication of lipid-peptide binding and complexation. Together with mobility data, we quantified the degree of binding, which offers new insight into this class of lipid-peptide interactions. Overall, this is the first report of lipid-peptide cross-correlation by FCCS, and provides a new route to quantifying the interactions between proteins and lipid membranes, a key interface in cell signaling.« less