Low molecular weight protein tyrosine phosphatases: small, but smart.
ABSTRACT Low molecular weight protein tyrosine phosphatases (LMW-PTPs) are a family of 18-kDa enzymes involved in cell growth regulation. Despite very limited sequence similarity to the PTP superfamily, they display a conserved signature motif in the catalytic site. LMW-PTP associates and dephosphorylate many growth factor receptors, such as platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGF-r), insulin receptor and ephrin receptor, thus downregulating many of the tyrosine kinase receptor functions that lead to cell division. In particular, LMW-PTP acts on both growth-factor-induced mitosis, through dephosphorylation of activated PDGF-r, and on cytoskeleton rearrangement, through dephosphorylation of p190RhoGAP and the consequent regulation of the small GTPase Rho. LMW-PTP activity is modulated by tyrosine phosphorylation on two specific residues, each of them with specific characteristics. LMW-PTP activity on specific substrates depends also on its localization. Moreover, LMW-PTP is reversibly oxidized during growth factor signaling, leading to inhibition of its enzymatic activity. Recovery of phosphatase activity depends on the availability of reduced glutathione and involves the formation of an S-S bridge between the two catalytic site cysteines. Furthermore, studies on the redox state of LMW-PTP in contact-inhibited cells and in mature myoblasts suggest that LMW-PTP is a general and versatile modulator of growth inhibition.
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