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Leukemia. 2001 Nov;15(11):1750-7.

Effects of overexpression of the SH2-containing inositol phosphatase SHIP on proliferation and apoptosis of erythroid AS-E2 cells.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University Hospital Groningen, The Netherlands.


Previous studies have demonstrated that SH2-containing inositol phosphatase (SHIP) is involved in the control of B cell, myeloid cell and macrophage activation and proliferation. The goal of the present study was to examine the role of SHIP during proliferation and apoptosis in cells of the erythroid lineage. Wild-type and catalytically inactive SHIP proteins were overexpressed in the erythropoietin (EPO)-dependent cell line AS-E2. Stable overexpression of catalytically inactive SHIP decreased proliferation and resulted in prolonged activation of the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases ERK1/2 and protein kinase B (PKB), while wild-type SHIP did not affect EPO-mediated proliferation or phosphorylation of ERK and PKB. When AS-E2 cells were EPO deprived a significant increase in apoptosis was observed in clones overexpressing wild type. Mutational analysis showed that this increase in apoptosis was independent of the enzymatic activity of SHIP. The enhanced apoptosis due to overexpression of SHIP was associated with an increase in caspase-3 and -9 activity, without a distinct effect on caspase-8 activity or mitochondrial depolarization. Moreover, in cells overexpressing SHIP apoptosis could be reduced by a caspase-3 inhibitor. These data demonstrate that in the erythroid cell line AS-E2 overexpression of catalytically inactive SHIP reduced proliferation, while overexpression of wild-type SHIP had no effect. Furthermore, overexpression of SHIP enhanced apoptosis during growth factor deprivation by inducing specific caspase cascades, which are regulated independently of the 5-phosphatase activity of SHIP.

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