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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jun 29;276(26):24380-7. Epub 2001 Apr 25.

Phosphotyrosines 627 and 659 of Gab1 constitute a bisphosphoryl tyrosine-based activation motif (BTAM) conferring binding and activation of SHP2.

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  • 1Molecular Oncology Program, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida 33612, USA.


A major Grb2-associated binder-1 (Gab1) binding partner in epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated cells is protein-tyrosine phosphatase (PTPase) SHP2, which contains tandem SH2 domains. The SHP2 PTPase activity is required for activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) subfamily of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase by EGF. To investigate the mechanism by which Gab1 and SHP2 mediate ERK activation, we characterized the Gab1-SHP2 interaction. We found that both Tyr-627 and Tyr-659 of Gab1 were required for SHP2 binding to Gab1 and for ERK2 activation by EGF. Far Western blot analysis suggested that the tandem SH2 domains of SHP2 bind to Gab1 in a specific orientation, in which the N-SH2 domain binds to phosphotyrosine (Tyr(P))-627 and the C-SH2 domain binds to Tyr(P)-659. When assayed with peptide substrates, SHP2 PTPase was activated by a bisphosphopeptide containing both Tyr(P)-627 and Tyr(P)-659, but not by monophosphopeptides containing Tyr(P)-627 or Tyr(P)-659 or a mixture of these monophosphopeptides. These results suggest that Tyr(P)-627 and Tyr(P)-659 of Gab1 constitute a bisphosphoryl tyrosine-based activation motif (BTAM) that binds and activates SHP2. Remarkably, while a constitutively active SHP2 (SHP2DeltaN) could not rescue the defect of a SHP2-binding defective Gab1 (Gab1FF) in ERK2 activation, expression of a Gab1FF-SHP2DeltaN chimera resulted in constitutive activation of ERK2 in transfected cells. Thus, physical association of activated SHP2 with Gab1 is necessary and sufficient to mediate the ERK mitogen-activated protein kinase activation. Phosphopeptides derived from Gab1 were dephosphorylated by active SHP2 in vitro. Consistently, substrate-trapping experiments with a SHP2 catalytic inactive mutant suggested that Gab1 was a SHP2 PTPase substrate in the cells. Therefore, Gab1 not only is a SHP2 activator but also is a target of its PTPase.

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