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Biochem J. 2004 Mar 1;378(Pt 2):335-42.

Haematopoietic protein tyrosine phosphatase (HePTP) phosphorylation by cAMP-dependent protein kinase in T-cells: dynamics and subcellular location.

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  • 1Program of Signal Transduction, Cancer Research Center, The Burnham Institute, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


The HePTP (haematopoietic protein tyrosine phosphatase) is a negative regulator of the ERK2 (extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 2) and p38 MAP kinases (mitogen-activated protein kinases) in T-cells. This inhibitory function requires a physical association of HePTP through an N-terminal KIM (kinase-interaction motif) with ERK and p38. We previously reported that PKA (cAMP-dependent protein kinase) phosphorylates Ser-23 within the KIM of HePTP, resulting in dissociation of HePTP from ERK2. Here we follow the phosphorylation of this site in intact T-cells. We find that HePTP is phosphorylated at Ser-23 in resting T-cells and that this phosphorylation increases upon treatment of the cells with agents that elevate intracellular cAMP, such as prostaglandin E2. HePTP phosphorylation occurred at discrete regions at the cell surface. Phosphorylation was reduced by inhibitors of PKA and increased by inhibitors of protein phosphatases PP1 and PP2A, but not by inhibitors of calcineurin. In vitro, PP1 efficiently dephosphorylated HePTP at Ser-23, while PP2A was much less efficient. Activation of PP1 by treatment of the cells with ceramide suppressed Ser-23 phosphorylation, as did transfection of the catalytic subunit of PP1. Phosphorylation at Ser-23 is also increased in a transient manner upon T-cell antigen receptor ligation. In contrast, treatment of cells with phorbol ester had no effect on HePTP phosphorylation at Ser-23. We conclude from these results that HePTP is under continuous control by PKA and a serine-specific phosphatase, probably PP1, in T-cells and that this basal phosphorylation at Ser-23 can rapidly change in response to external stimuli. This, in turn, will affect the ability of HePTP to inhibit the ERK and p38 MAP kinases.

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