p120 Ras GTPase-activating protein associates with fibroblast growth factor receptors in Drosophila

Simon A. Woodcock, David A. Hughes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Btl (breathless) and Htl (heartless), the two FGFRs (fibroblast growth factor receptors) in Drosophila melanogaster, control cell migration and differentiation in the developing embryo. These receptors signal through the conserved Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, but how they regulate Ras activity is not known. The present study shows that there is a direct interaction between p120 RasGAP (Ras GTPase-activating protein), a negative regulator of Ras, and activated FGFRs in Drosophila. The interaction is dependent on the SH2 (Src homology 2) domains of RasGAP, which have been shown to interact with a phosphotyrosine residue within the consensus sequence (phospho)YXXPXD. A potential binding site that matches this consensus is found in both Btl and Htl, located between the transmembrane and kinase domains of each receptor. A peptide corresponding to this region was capable of binding RasGAP only when the tyrosine residue was phosphorylated. This tyrosine residue appears to be conserved in human FGFR-1 and mediates the association with the adapter protein CrkII, but no association between dCrk (Drosophila homologue of CrkII) and the activated FGFRs was detected. RasGAP was a substrate of the activated FGFR kinase domain, and mutation of the tyrosine residue within the potential binding site on the receptor prevented tyrosine phosphorylation of RasGAP. RasGAP attenuated FGFR signalling in vivo and this ability was dependent on both its SH2 domains and its GAP activity. On the basis of these results, we propose that RasGAP is directly recruited into activated FGFRs in Drosophila and plays a role in regulating the strength of signalling through Ras and the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)767-774
    Number of pages7
    JournalBiochemical Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2004


    • Btl (breathless)
    • Fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR)
    • GTPase-activating protein (GAP)
    • Htl (heartless)
    • Ras
    • Tyrosine phosphorylation


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