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Cell Metab. 2011 May 4;13(5):562-72. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2011.02.017.

Protein tyrosine phosphatase epsilon affects body weight by downregulating leptin signaling in a phosphorylation-dependent manner.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


Molecular-level understanding of body weight control is essential for combating obesity. We show that female mice lacking tyrosine phosphatase epsilon (RPTPe) are protected from weight gain induced by high-fat food, ovariectomy, or old age and exhibit increased whole-body energy expenditure and decreased adiposity. RPTPe-deficient mice, in particular males, exhibit improved glucose homeostasis. Female nonobese RPTPe-deficient mice are leptin hypersensitive and exhibit reduced circulating leptin concentrations, suggesting that RPTPe inhibits hypothalamic leptin signaling in vivo. Leptin hypersensitivity persists in aged, ovariectomized, and high-fat-fed RPTPe-deficient mice, indicating that RPTPe helps establish obesity-associated leptin resistance. RPTPe associates with and dephosphorylates JAK2, thereby downregulating leptin receptor signaling. Leptin stimulation induces phosphorylation of hypothalamic RPTPe at its C-terminal Y695, which drives RPTPe to downregulate JAK2. RPTPe is therefore an inhibitor of hypothalamic leptin signaling in vivo, and provides controlled negative-feedback regulation of this pathway following its activation.

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