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Curr Biol. 2000 Nov 30;10(23):1523-6.

The protein tyrosine phosphatase Shp-2 regulates RhoA activity.

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Australian Center for Blood Diseases, Monash University Department of Medicine, 3128,., Melbourne, Australia.


Remodeling of filamentous actin into distinct arrangements is precisely controlled by members of the Rho family of small GTPases [1]. A well characterized member of this family is RhoA, whose activation results in reorganization of the cytoskeleton into thick actin stress fibers terminating in integrin-rich focal adhesions [2]. Regulation of RhoA is required to maintain adhesion in stationary cells, but is also critical for cell spreading and migration [3]. Despite its biological importance, the signaling events leading to RhoA activation are not fully understood. Several independent studies have implicated tyrosine phosphorylation as a critical event upstream of RhoA [4]. Consistent with this, our recent studies have demonstrated the existence of a protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTPase), sensitive to the dipeptide aldehyde calpeptin, acting upstream of RhoA [5]. Here we identify the SH2 (Src homology region 2)-containing PTPase Shp-2 as a calpeptin-sensitive PTPase, and show that calpeptin interferes with the catalytic activity of Shp-2 in vitro and with Shp-2 signaling in vivo. Finally, we show that perturbation of Shp-2 activity by a variety of genetic manipulations results in raised levels of active RhoA. Together, these studies identify Shp-2 as a PTPase acting upstream of RhoA to regulate its activity and contribute to the coordinated control of cell movement.

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