Communication between different signaling pathways enables cells to coordinate the responses to diverse environmental signals. Activation of the transmembrane growth factor precursors plays a critical role in this communication and often involves metalloproteasemediated proteolysis. Stimulation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) transactivates the EGF receptors (EGFRs), which occurs via a metalloprotease-dependent cleavage of heparin-binding EGF (HB-EGF). However, the metalloprotease mediating the transactivation remains elusive. We show that the integral membrane metalloprotease Kuzbanian (KUZ; ADAM10), which controls Notch signaling in Drosophila. stimulates GPCR transactivation of EGFR. Upon stimulation of the bombesin receptors, KUZ increases the docking and activation of adaptors Src homology 2 domain-containing protein and Gab1 on the EGFR, and activation of Ras and Erk. In contrast, transfection of a protease domain-deleted KUZ, or blocking endogenous KUZ by morpholino antisense oligonucleotides, suppresses the transactivation. The effect of KUZ on shedding of HB-EGF and consequent transactivation of the EGFR depends on its metalloprotease activity. GPCR activation enhances the association of KUZ and its substrate HB-EGF with tetraspanin CD9. Thus, KUZ regulates the relay between the GPCR and EGFR signaling pathways.
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