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J Biol Chem. 2001 Feb 16;276(7):4747-55. Epub 2000 Nov 20.

Divergent roles of SHP-2 in ERK activation by leptin receptors.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


The protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP-2 has been proposed to serve as a regulator of leptin signaling, but its specific roles are not fully examined. To directly investigate the role of SHP-2, we employed dominant negative strategies in transfected cells. We show that a catalytically inactive mutant of SHP-2 blocks leptin-stimulated ERK phosphorylation by the long leptin receptor, ObRb. SHP-2, lacking two C-terminal tyrosine residues, partially inhibits ERK phosphorylation. We find similar effects of the SHP-2 mutants after examining stimulation of an ERK-dependent egr-1 promoter-construct by leptin. We also demonstrate ERK phosphorylation and egr-1 mRNA expression in the hypothalamus by leptin. Analysis of signaling by ObRb lacking intracellular tyrosine residues or by the short leptin receptor, ObRa, enabled us to conclude that two pathways are critical for ERK activation. One pathway does not require the intracellular domain of ObRb, whereas the other pathway requires tyrosine residue 985 of ObRb. The phosphatase activity of SHP-2 is required for both pathways, whereas activation of ERK via Tyr-985 of ObRb also requires tyrosine phosphorylation of SHP-2. SHP-2 is thus a positive regulator of ERK by leptin receptors, and both the adaptor function and the phosphatase activity of SHP-2 are critical for this regulation.

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