Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2017

Author's Department

Biomedical Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling mechanisms play a central role in intracellular signaling and control development of multicellular organisms, cell growth, cell migration, and programmed cell death. Dysregulation of these signaling mechanisms results in defects of development and diseases such as cancer. Control of this network relies on the specificity and selectivity of Src Homology 2 (SH2) domain interactions with phosphorylated target peptides. In this work, we review and identify the limitations of current quantitative understanding of SH2 domain interactions, and identify severe limitations in accuracy and availability of SH2 domain interaction data. We propose a framework to address some of these limitations and present new results which improve the quality and accuracy of currently available data. Furthermore, we supplement published results with a large body of negative interactions of high-confidence extracted from rejected data, allowing for improved modeling and prediction of SH2 interactions.

We present and analyze new experimental results for the dynamic response of downstream signaling proteins in response to RTK signaling. Our data identify differences in downstream response depending on the character and dose of the receptor stimulus, which has implications for previous studies using high-dose stimulation. We review some of the methods used in this

work, focusing on pitfalls of clustering biological data, and address the high-dimensional nature of biological data from high-throughput experiments, the failure to consider more than one clustering method for a given problem, and the difficulty in determining whether clustering has produced meaningful results.


English (en)


Kristen M. Naegle

Committee Members

Jan Bieschke, Roman Garnett, James Havranek, Rohit Pappu,


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