The receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 1 (ROR1) is a transcriptional target of the lineage-survival oncogene NKX2–1/TTF-1 in lung adenocarcinomas. In addition to its kinase-dependent role, ROR1 functions as a scaffold protein to facilitate interaction between caveolin-1 (CAV1) and CAVIN1, and consequently maintains caveolae formation, which in turn sustains pro-survival signaling toward AKT from multiple receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), MET (proto-oncogene, receptor tyrosine kinase), and IGF-IR (insulin-like growth factor receptor 1). Therefore, ROR1 is an attractive target for overcoming EGFR-TKI resistance due to various mechanisms such as EGFR T790M double mutation and bypass signaling from other RTKs. Here, we report that ROR1 possesses a novel scaffold function indispensable for efficient caveolae-dependent endocytosis. CAVIN3 was found to bind with ROR1 at a site distinct from sites for CAV1 and CAVIN1, a novel function required for proper CAVIN3 subcellular localization and caveolae-dependent endocytosis, but not caveolae formation itself. Furthermore, evidence of a mechanistic link between ROR1-CAVIN3 interaction and consequential caveolae trafficking, which was found to utilize a binding site distinct from those for ROR1 interactions with CAV1 and CAVIN1, with RTK-mediated pro-survival signaling towards AKT in early endosomes in lung adenocarcinoma cells was also obtained. The present findings warrant future study to enable development of novel therapeutic strategies for inhibiting the multifaceted scaffold functions of ROR1 in order to reduce the intolerable death toll from this devastating cancer.
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