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Mol Cell Biol. 1999 Aug;19(8):5326-38.

Dual signaling role of the protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP-2 in regulating expression of acute-phase plasma proteins by interleukin-6 cytokine receptors in hepatic cells.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York 14263, USA.


One of the major actions of interleukin-6 (IL-6) is the transcriptional activation of acute-phase plasma proteins (APP) genes in liver cells. Signaling by the IL-6 receptor is mediated through the signal transducing subunit gp130 and involves the activation of Janus-associated kinases (JAKs), signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase. Functional analysis of gp130 in rat hepatoma cells by using transduced chimeric G-CSFR-gp130 receptor constructs demonstrates that SHP-2, the Src homology 2 (SH2) domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase, acts as a negative regulator of the JAK/STAT signaling in part by downregulating JAK activity, thereby indirectly moderating the induction of STAT3-dependent APP genes. This study shows that in hepatoma cells, the recruitment and tyrosine phosphorylation of SHP-2, but not SHC, is the primary signaling event associated with the activation of MAP kinases (ERK1/2) by gp130. Overexpression of truncated SHP-2 that lacks Grb2-interacting sites, but not the full-length catalytically inactive SHP-2, reduces ERK activation by IL-6, confirming the signal-mediating role of SHP-2. Activation of ERK1/2 is correlated with induction of the immediate-early response genes. Stimulation of the c-fos, c-jun, and egr-1 genes is essentially absent in cells expressing gp130 with a Y759F mutation, which is unable to recruit SHP-2. Interestingly, both JAK/STAT and SHP-2 pathways regulate the induction of the junB gene. Moreover, disengagement of SHP-2 from gp130 signaling not only enhances APP gene induction but also further reduces cell proliferation, in part correlated with the attenuated expression of immediate-early response genes. These results suggest that IL-6 regulation of APP genes is affected by SHP-2 in two ways: SHP-2 acts as a phosphatase on the JAK/STAT pathway and serves as linker to the MAP kinase pathway, which in turn moderates APP production.

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