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Mol Cell Biochem. 2006 Apr;285(1-2):165-71. Epub 2006 Feb 14.

Expression of the ErbB4 receptor causes reversal regulation of PP2A in the Shc signal transduction pathway in human cancer cells.

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Cellular Systems Biology Team, Computational and Experimental Systems Biology Group, RIKEN Genomic Sciences Center, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 230-0045, Japan.


Expression of ErbB4 receptor is correlated with the incidence of non-metastatic types of human cancers, whereas the overexpression of other ErbB receptor families (ErbB1/EGFR, ErbB2 and ErbB3) is correlated to the formation of metastatic tumors. However, the molecular mechanism underlying this phenomenon has been unclear. Earlier, we demonstrated that okadaic acid (OA), an inhibitor of a serine/threonine phosphatase PP2A, stimulated the growth hormone-induced ERK phosphorylation in the wild type Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells and the cells expressing ErbB1 receptor, but suppressed ERK activation in CHO cells that express ErbB4 receptor. PP2A had been understood as a negative regulator of the growth hormone-stimulated signal transduction pathways, however, this observation suggested that expression of ErbB4 receptor reversed the regulation of PP2A in the ErbB4 signalling pathway. In this study, we found that OA suppressed phosphorylation of Shc at Tyr317, therefore it down-regulated ERK phosphorylation in the ErbB4 expressing CHO cells. Accordingly, basal PP2A contributed to the phosphorylation of Shc Tyr317 in ErbB4 expressing CHO cells, nevertheless it had been reported that PP2A negatively regulates Shc tyrosine phosphorylation in the EGF- or IGF-I-induced signalling pathways. By testing OA for human cancer cell lines that express different types of ErbB receptors, we found that ErbB4 receptor expression was accompanied with positive regulation of PP2A for phosphorylation of Shc Tyr317 and its downstream ERK phosphorylation in MCF-7 and SK-OV-3 cell lines, but not in LNCaP and PC-3 cells. Thus, PP2A regulates the ERK activity in a cell-specific manner, and it is speculated that distinct regulation of PP2A in the ErbB4 receptor signalling pathway may cause a difference in progression of cancer phenotypes.

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