Blue Native PAGE and Mass Spectrometry Analysis of Ephrin Stimulation-Dependent Protein-Protein Interactions in NG108-EphB2 Cells

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Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) are proteins that undergo dimerization and/or multimerization and autophosphorylation in response to ligand stimulation. Members of the RTK family are receptors for a series of growth factors that, upon stimulation, are able to start signaling events that promote cell growth and differentiation. A class of RTKs, the Eph receptors (EphRs), are found in a variety of cell types and play important roles in patterning the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as in synapse and neural crest formation. Interaction of Eph receptors with their ephrin ligands activates signal transduction pathways that lead to cytoskeletal remodeling through formation of many stable or transient protein-protein interactions. However, these intracellular signal transduction pathways that lead to cytoskeletal remodeling are not well understood. Here, we combined Blue Native PAGE (BN-PAGE) and mass spectrometry (MS) to analyze protein-protein interactions as a result of ephrin stimulation. We analyzed both lysates and phosphotyrosine immunoprecipitate (pY99-IP) of unstimulated and ephrin-stimulated cells. Our experiments allowed us to characterize many constitutive homo- and hetero-protein complexes from the cell lysate. Furthermore, BN-PAGE and MS of the pY99-IPs from both unstimulated and stimulated cells allowed us to analyze protein-protein interactions that resulted upon ephrin stimulation. Combination of BN-PAGE and MS also has the potential for the analysis of stable and transient protein-protein interactions in other ligand-stimulated RTK-dependent signal transduction pathways.