Molecules in focus: The c-Cbl oncoprotein

Mark L. Lupher, Christopher E. Andoniou, David Bonita, Sachiko Miyake, Hamid Band

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Cbl has emerged as a novel signal transducing protein downstream of a number of cell surface receptors coupled to tyrosine kinases. Identified as the protein product of the c-cbl proto-oncogene, the cellular homolog to the transforming gene of a murine retrovirus, Cbl comprises an N-terminal transforming region (Cbl-N), which contains a phosphotyrosine binding (PTB) domain, and a C-terminal modular region (Cbl-C) containing a RING finger motif, a large proline-rich region and a leucine zipper. Deletion of Cbl-C or small deletions N-terminal to the RING finger render Cbl oncogenic, whereas wild type Cbl is non-transforming, even if overexpressed. Cbl serves as a substrate of both receptor and non-receptor tyrosine kinases, and binds to adaptor proteins Grb2, Crk and the p85 subunit of PI-3-kinase. Additionally, both Caenorhahditis elegans and Drosophila Cbl homologs, SLI-1 and D-Cbl, respectively, have been identified as negative regulators of the LET-23/DER receptor tyrosine kinases. Finally, oncogenic mutants of Cbl, when expressed in fibroblasts, upregulate the signaling cascade downstream of the platelet- derived growth factor receptor α in a Cbl-PTB domain-dependent manner. Together, these findings position Cbl as a central player in the regulation of tyrosine kinase signaling pathways. Identification of the Cbl-PTB domain binding motifs on tyrosine kinases and elucidation of the mechanisms of Cbl's negative regulatory effect may provide a new avenue to control tyrosine kinases for therapeutic purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-444
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 30 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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