Cbl is an E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase that negatively regulates signaling pathways by targeting proteins for ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation (Rao et al. 2002). Cbl negatively regulates PI3K via this mechanism (Dufour et al. 2008). The binding of Cbl to the p85 subunit of PI3K is mediated at least in part by tyrosine phosphorylation at Y731 (Dufour et al. 2008). Fyn and the related kinases Hck and Lyn are known to be associated with Cbl (Anderson et al. 1997, Hunter et al. 1999). Fyn is proven capable of Cbl Y731 phosphorylation (Hunter et al. 1999).The association of Fyn and Cbl has been described as constitutive (Hunter et al. 1999). CBL further associates with the p85 subunit of PI3K (Hartley et al. 1995, Anderson et al. 1997, Hunter et al. 1997), this also described as constitutive and mediated by the SH3 domain of p85. Binding of the SH2 domain of p85 to a specific phosphorylation site in Cbl is postulated to explain the the increase in Cbl/p85 association seen in activated cells (Panchamoorthy et al 1996) which negatively regulates PI3K activity (Fang et al. 2001). The negative effect of increased Cbl-PI3K interaction is mediated by Y731 of Cbl. Cbl binding increases PI3K ubiquitination and proteasome degradation (Dufour et al. 2008).
Cbl is constitutively associated with Grb in resting hematopoietic cells (Anderson et al. 1997, Odai et al. 1995, Park et al. 1998, Panchamoorthy et al. 1996). Both the SH2 and SH3 domains of Grb2 are involved. Cbl has 2 distinct C-terminal domains, proximal and distal. The proximal domain binds Grb2 in resting and stimulated cells, and in stimulated cells also binds Shc. The distal domain binds the adaptor protein CRKL. Tyrosine phosphorylation of Cbl in response to IL-3 releases the SH3 domain of Grb2 which then is free to bind other molecules (Park et al. 1998). Cbl is tyrosine phosphorylated in response to many cytokines including IL-3, IL-2 (Gesbert et al. 1998) and IL-4 (Ueno et al. 1998).