Shp2 is a positive regulator for Erk activation downstream of receptor tyrosine kinases for growth factors. It has been controversial how Shp2 induces Erk activation. We here demonstrate that EphA2 is responsible for Shp2-mediated Erk activation by phosphorylating Tyr542 and Tyr580 of Shp2 in the cells stimulated with growth factors. In NMuMG mammary epithelial cells stimulated with hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), HGF-dependent Erk phosphorylation was prolonged only in the presence of EphA2. This Erk activation paralleled the phosphorylation of Tyr542/580 of Shp2 and the association of Grb2 with Shp2, suggesting the positive signal involving Grb2 signal to activate Ras-Erk pathway. Immunohistochemical studies of mammary cancer specimens revealed that the cancer progression was associated with both Tyr580 phosphorylation of Shp2 and increased expression of EphA2, which were also correlated with increased Erk phosphorylation. Overexpression of either Shp2Thr468Met (a phosphatase- defective mutant found in Lentigines, Electrocardiographic abnormalities, Ocular hypertelorism, Pulmonary stenosis, Abnormal genitalia, Retardation of growth and sensorineural Deafness (LEOPARD) syndrome) or Shp2Asn308Asp (a phosphatase-active mutant found in Noonan syndrome) with EphA2 exhibited comparable activation of Erk and stronger activation than wild-type Shp2, suggesting the phosphatase-independent Erk activation. Expression of Shp2Thr468Met with Tyr542/580Phe mutations resulted in the suppression of Erk activation. Phosphatase-active and -inactive, and wild-type Shp2s bound equally to Grb2, suggesting that phosphorylation of Tyr542/580 of Shp2 was essential but not sufficient for Shp2-mediated Erk activation. We found that Gab1 (Grb2-associated binder 1) was involved in the mutant Shp2-mediated Erk activation. Zebrafish injected with Shp2Thr468Met mRNA showed cardiac edema, whereas those depleted of EphA2b showed less phenotype, suggesting that EphA2 might partly account for the phenotype of LEOPARD syndrome. Collectively, tyrosine phosphorylation of Shp2 by EphA2 contributes to the phosphatase-independent Shp2-mediated activation of Erk and might be involved in Shp2-associated diseases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research