Identification of Grb4/Nckbeta, a src homology 2 and 3 domain-containing adapter protein having similar binding and biological properties to Nck.
Adapter proteins made up of Src homology (SH) domains mediate multiple cellular signaling events initiated by receptor protein tyrosine kinases. Here we report that Grb4 is an adapter protein closely related to but distinct from Nck that is made up of three SH3 domains and one SH2 domain. Northern analysis indicated that both genes are expressed in multiple tissues. Both Nck and Grb4 proteins could associate with receptor tyrosine kinases and the SH3-binding proteins PAK, Sos1, and PRK2, and they synergized with v-Abl and Sos to induce gene expression via the transcription factor Elk-1. Although neither protein was transforming on its own, both Nck and Grb4 cooperated with v-Abl to transform NIH 3T3 cells and influenced the morphology and anchorage-dependent growth of wild type Ras-transformed cells. Nck and Grb4 therefore appear to be functionally redundant.