The involvement of Ral and its downstream molecules in receptor-mediated endocytosis was examined. Expression of either RalG23V or RalS28N, which are known to be constitutively active and dominantnegative forms, respectively, in A431 cells blocked internalization of epidermal growth factor (EGF). Stable expression of RalG23V or RalS28N in CHO-IR cells also inhibited internalization of insulin. Internalization of EGF and insulin was not affected by full-length RalBP1 which is an effector protein of Ral, but was inhibited by its C-terminal region which binds directly to Ral and POB1. POB1 is a binding protein of RalBP1 and has the Eps15 homology (EH) domain. Deletion mutants of POB1 inhibited internalization of EGF and insulin. However, internalization of transferrin was unaffected by Ral, RalBP1, POB1 and their mutants. Epsin and Eps15 have been reported to be involved in the regulation of endocytosis of the receptors for EGF and transferrin. The EH domain of POB1 bound directly to Epsin and Eps15. Taken together with the observation that EGF and insulin activate Ral, these results suggest that Ral, RalBP1 and POB1 transmit the signal from the receptors to Epsin and Eps15, thereby regulating ligand-dependent receptor-mediated endocytosis.
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