The pleiotropic effects (mitogenesis, motogenesis, and morphogenesis) elicited by hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF) are mediated by the activation of the tyrosine kinase receptor encoded by the MET proto-oncogene. Following autophosphorylation, the receptor associates with the p85/110 phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase complex in vivo and in vitro. By a combination of two complementary approaches, competition with synthetic phosphopeptides and association with Tyr-Phe receptor mutants, we have identified Y-1349 and Y-1356 in the HGF/SF receptor as the binding sites for PI 3-kinase. Y-1349VHV and Y-1356VNV do not conform to the canonical consensus sequence YXXM for PI 3-kinase binding and thus define YVXV as a novel recognition motif. Y-1349 and Y-1356 are located within the C-terminal portion of the HGF/SF receptor and are phosphorylation sites. The affinity of the N- and C-terminal src homology region 2 (SH2) domains of p85 for the phosphopeptides including Y-1349 and Y-1356 is 2 orders of magnitude lower than that measured for Y-751 in the platelet-derived growth factor receptor binding site. However, the closely spaced duplication of the novel recognition motif in the native HGF/SF receptor may allow binding with both SH2 domains of p85, thus generating an efficient docking site for PI 3-kinase. In agreement with this model, we have observed that a phosphopeptide including both Y-1349 and Y-1356 activates PI 3-kinase in vitro.
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