Impaired PTPN13 phosphatase activity in spontaneous or HPV-induced squamous cell carcinomas potentiates oncogene signaling through the MAP kinase pathway.

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.
Oncogene (Impact Factor: 8.56). 10/2009; 28(45):3960-70. DOI: 10.1038/onc.2009.251
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are a causative factor in over 90% of cervical and 25% of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs). The C terminus of the high-risk HPV 16 E6 oncoprotein physically associates with and degrades a non-receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTPN13), and PTPN13 loss synergizes with H-Ras(V12) or ErbB2 for invasive growth in vivo. Oral keratinocytes that have lost PTPN13 and express H-Ras(V12) or ErbB2 show enhanced Ras/RAF/MEK/Erk signaling. In co-transfection studies, wild-type PTPN13 inhibited Ras/RAF/MEK/Erk signaling in HEK 293 cells that overexpress ErbB2, EGFR or H-Ras(V12), whereas an enzymatically inactive PTPN13 did not. Twenty percent of HPV-negative HNSCCs had PTPN13 phosphatase mutations that did not inhibit Ras/RAF/MEK/Erk signaling. Inhibition of Ras/RAF/MEK/Erk signaling using MEK inhibitor U0126 blocked anchorage-independent growth in cells lacking PTPN13. These findings show that PTPN13 phosphatase activity has a physiologically significant role in regulating MAP kinase signaling.

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    ABSTRACT: Microtubules (MTs) are components of the cytoskeleton made up of polymerized alpha and beta tubulin dimers. MT structure and function must be maintained throughout the cell cycle to ensure proper execution of mitosis and cellular homeostasis. The protein tyrosine phosphatase, PTPN13, localizes to distinct compartments during mitosis and cytokinesis. We have previously demonstrated that the HPV16 E6 oncoprotein binds PTPN13 and leads to its degradation. Thus, we speculated that HPV infection may affect cellular proliferation by altering the localization of a PTPN13 phosphatase substrate, EphrinB1, during mitosis. Here we report that EphrinB1 co-localizes with MTs during all phases of the cell cycle. Specifically, a cleaved, unphosphorylated EphrinB1 fragment directly binds tubulin, while its phosphorylated form lacks MT binding capacity. These findings suggest that EphrinB1 is a novel microtubule associated protein (MAP). Importantly, we show that in the context of HPV16 E6 expression, EphrinB1 affects taxane response in vitro. We speculate that this reflects PTPN13's modulation of EphrinB1 phosphorylation and suggest that EphrinB1 is an important contributor to taxane sensitivity/resistance phenotypes in epithelial cancers. Thus, HPV infection or functional mutations of PTPN13 in non-viral cancers may predict taxane sensitivity.
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