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J Neurosci. 1999 Nov 1;19(21):9426-35.

Regulation of neuregulin-mediated acetylcholine receptor synthesis by protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP2.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.


Synapse-specific expression of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) is believed to be mediated by neuregulin, an epidermal growth factor-like trophic factor released by somatic motoneurons at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Neuregulin stimulates ErbB2, ErbB3, and ErbB4, members of the ErbB family of receptor tyrosine kinases. SHP2 is a cytoplasmic protein tyrosine phosphatase containing two Src homology 2 domains near its N terminus, and has been shown to be a positive mediator of mitogenic responses to various growth factors. We found that SHP2 interacted with ErbB2 and ErbB3 after neuregulin stimulation of muscle cells. Expression of SHP2 in C2C12 mouse muscle cells attenuated the neuregulin-induced expression of an AChR epsilon-promoter reporter gene, whereas a catalytically inactive SHP2 mutant or a mutant lacking the N-terminal Src homology 2 (SH2) domain enhanced reporter expression, suggesting that SHP2 negatively regulates the neuregulin signaling pathway. In fibroblast cells that express a mutant SHP2 with a targeted deletion of the N-terminal SH2 domain, neuregulin-mediated activation of the Ras/Raf/extracellular signal-regulated kinase cascade was enhanced. Furthermore, we found that SHP2 immunoreactivity colocalized with the staining of alpha-bungarotoxin, a marker of the NMJ. These results demonstrate a negative role of SHP2 in the neuregulin signal that leads to AChR gene expression at the NMJ.

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