Piezo1 activates non-canonical EGFR endocytosis and signaling

Carlos Pardo Pastor*, Jody Rosenblatt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


EGFR-ERK signaling controls cell cycle progression during development, homeostasis, and disease. While EGF ligand and mechanical inputs can activate EGFR-ERK signaling, the molecules linking mechanical force to this axis have remained mysterious. We previously found that stretch promotes mitosis via the stretch-activated ion channel Piezo1 and ERK signaling. Here, we show that Piezo1 provides the missing link between mechanical signals and EGFR-ERK activation. While both EGF- and Piezo1-dependent activation trigger clathrin-mediated EGFR endocytosis and ERK activation, EGF relies on canonical tyrosine autophosphorylation, whereas Piezo1 involves Src-p38 kinase-dependent serine phosphorylation. Additionally, unlike EGF, ex vivo lung slices treated with Piezo1 agonist promoted cell cycle re-entry via nuclear ERK, AP-1 (FOS and JUN), and YAP accumulation, typical of regenerative and malignant signaling. Our results suggest that mechanical activation via Piezo1, Src, and p38 may be more relevant to controlling repair, regeneration, and cancer growth than tyrosine kinase signaling via canonical EGF signaling, suggesting an alternative therapeutic approach.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience Advances
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Aug 2023

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