The most important family of receptor tyrosine kinases is the family of the receptors for EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor). Activation of the EGF receptor tyrosine kinase by extracellular EGF results in its dimerization and its autophosphorylation on its cytosolic domains. The phosphorylated cytosolic domains recruit other cytosolic proteins and thus transmit the signal into the cell. EGF receptors activate various intracellular pathways, including the PI3-AKT and the MAPK pathway. Via these pathways, EGF receptors activate growth, proliferation, differentiation, migration and cell survival. In many tumors, receptors of the EGF receptor family are dysregulated. The best-known example is the EGF receptor erbB-2, which is overexpressed in many human breast tumors.
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