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J Biol Chem. 2008 Oct 24;283(43):29175-85. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M804077200. Epub 2008 Aug 25.

Protein-tyrosine phosphatase alpha regulates stem cell factor-dependent c-Kit activation and migration of mast cells.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V5Z 4H4, Canada.


The role of protein-tyrosine phosphatase alpha (PTPalpha) in mast cell function was investigated in tissues and cells from PTPalpha-deficient mice. Bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMCs) lacking PTPalpha exhibit defective stem cell factor (SCF)-dependent polarization and migration. Investigation of the molecular basis for this reveals that SCF/c-Kit-stimulated activation of the Fyn tyrosine kinase is impaired in PTPalpha(-/-) BMMCs, with a consequent inhibition of site-specific c-Kit phosphorylation at tyrosines 567/569 and 719. Although c-Kit-mediated activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and Akt is unaffected, profound defects occur in the activation of downstream signaling proteins, including mitogen-activated protein kinases and Rho GTPases. Phosphorylation and interaction of Fyn effectors Gab2 and Shp2, which are linked to Rac/JNK activation in mast cells, are impaired in PTPalpha(-/-) BMMCs. Thus, PTPalpha is required for SCF-induced c-Kit and Fyn activation, and in this way regulates a Fyn-based c-Kit signaling axis (Fyn/Gab2/Shp2/Vav/PAK/Rac/JNK) that mediates mast cell migration. These defective signaling events may underlie the altered tissue-resident mast cell populations found in PTPalpha(-/-) mice.

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