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Cell Signal. 1999 Oct;11(10):719-25.

Dissociation of PTPase levels from their modulation of insulin receptor signal transduction.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, NY 14642, USA.


Protein tyrosine phosphatases have been implicated in the regulation of receptor tyrosine kinase signalling pathways, including that of the insulin receptor. Here, cell density-dependent changes in PTPase expression have been exploited to investigate the relationship between cellular PTPase levels and the insulin receptor signal transduction pathway. Increasing cell density (20%, 50%, and >90%) in the rat McA-RH7777 hepatoma cell line resulted in increased protein expression of the receptor-like PTPase LAR (14-fold), and the nonreceptor PTPases PTP1B (11-fold) and SHP2 (10-fold). Each of these PTPases has previously been implicated in regulating insulin receptor signal transduction. Despite these marked increases, maximum insulin receptor autophosphorylation as well as receptor expression actually increased 2-fold. MAP kinase also increased approximately 2-fold as a function of cell density and paralleled increases in expression levels. Neither sensitivity nor maximum responsiveness to insulin were decreased at increasing cell densities as assessed by activation of PI 3-kinase. Duration of response was also unimpaired. These results suggest that expression levels of relevant PTPases are not the primary determinant in their modulation of insulin receptor kinase activity. Restricted accessibility at the molecular level or involvement of accessory proteins may be more critical parameters.

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