Recent literature implicates a regulatory function of the juxtamembrane domain (JMD) in receptor tyrosine kinases. Mutations in the JMD of c-Kit and Flt3 are associated with gastrointestinal stromal tumors and acute myeloid leukemias, respectively. Additionally, autophosphorylated Tyr559 in the JMD of the colony stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1) receptor (CSF-1R) binds to Src family kinases (SFKs). To investigate SFK function in CSF-1 signaling we established stable 32D myeloid cell lines expressing CSF-1Rs with mutated SFK binding sites (Tyr559-TFI). Whereas binding to I562S was not significantly perturbed, Y559F and Y559D exhibited markedly decreased CSF-1-dependent SFK association. All JMD mutants retained intrinsic kinase activity, but Y559F, and less so Y559D, showed dramatically reduced CSF-1-induced autophosphorylation. CSF-1-mediated wild-type (WT)-CSF-1R phosphorylation was not markedly affected by SFK inhibition, indicating that lack of SFK binding is not responsible for diminished Y559F phosphorylation. Unexpectedly, cells expressing Y559F were hyperproliferative in response to CSF-1. Hyperproliferation correlated with prolonged activation of Akt, ERK, and Stat5 in the Y559F mutant. Consistent with a defect in receptor negative regulation, c-Cbl tyrosine phosphorylation and CSF-1R/c-Cbl co-association were almost undetectable in the Y559F mutant. Furthermore, Y559F underwent reduced multiubiquitination and delayed receptor internalization and degradation. In conclusion, we propose that Tyr559 is a switch residue that functions in kinase regulation, signal transduction and, indirectly, receptor down-regulation. These findings may have implications for the oncogenic conversion of c-Kit and Flt3 with JMD mutations.
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