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Mol Cell Biol. 1997 Sep;17(9):5499-507.

A deletion mutation in the SH2-N domain of Shp-2 severely suppresses hematopoietic cell development.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Walther Oncology Center, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis 46202-5121, USA.


Shp-1 and Shp-2 are cytoplasmic protein tyrosine phosphatases that contain two Src homology 2 (SH2) domains. A negative regulatory role of Shp-1 in hematopoiesis has been strongly implicated by the phenotype of motheaten mice with a mutation in the Shp-1 locus, which is characterized by leukocyte hypersensitivity, deregulated mast cell function, and excessive erythropoiesis. A targeted deletion of 65 amino acids in the N-terminal SH2 (SH2-N) domain of Shp-2 leads to an embryonic lethality at midgestation in homozygous mutant mice. To further dissect the Shp-2 function in hematopoietic development, we have isolated homozygous Shp-2 mutant embryonic stem (ES) cells. Significantly reduced hematopoietic activity was observed when the mutant ES cells were allowed to differentiate into embryoid bodies (EBs), compared to the wild-type and heterozygous ES cells. Further analysis of ES cell differentiation in vitro showed that mutation in the Shp-2 locus severely suppressed the development of primitive and definitive erythroid progenitors and completely blocked the production of progenitor cells for granulocytes-macrophages and mast cells. Reverse transcriptase PCR analysis of the mutant EBs revealed reduced expression of several specific marker genes that are induced during blood cell differentiation. Stem cell factor induction of mitogen-activated protein kinase activity was also blocked in Shp-2 mutant cells. Taken together, these results indicate that Shp-2 is an essential component and primarily plays a positive role in signaling pathways that mediate hematopoiesis in mammals. Furthermore, stimulation of its catalytic activity is not sufficient, while interaction via the SH2 domains with the targets or regulators is necessary for its biological functions in cells. The in vitro ES cell differentiation assay can be used as a biological tool in dissecting cytoplasmic signaling pathways.

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