Aberrant activation of EGFR in human cancers promotes tumorigenesis through stimulation of AKT signaling. Here, we determined that the discoidina neuropilin-like membrane protein DCBLD2 is upregulated in clinical specimens of glioblastomas and head and neck cancers (HNCs) and is required for EGFR-stimulated tumorigenesis. In multiple cancer cell lines, EGFR activated phosphorylation of tyrosine 750 (Y750) of DCBLD2, which is located within a recently identified binding motif for TNF receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6). Consequently, phosphorylation of DCBLD2 Y750 recruited TRAF6, leading to increased TRAF6 E3 ubiquitin ligase activity and subsequent activation of AKT, thereby enhancing EGFR-driven tumorigenesis. Moreover, evaluation of patient samples of gliomas and HNCs revealed an association among EGFR activation, DCBLD2 phosphorylation, and poor prognoses. Together, our findings uncover a pathway in which DCBLD2 functions as a signal relay for oncogenic EGFR signaling to promote tumorigenesis and suggest DCBLD2 and TRAF6 as potential therapeutic targets for human cancers that are associated with EGFR activation.
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