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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

N-cadherin is an in vivo substrate for protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma (PTPsigma) and participates in PTPsigma-mediated inhibition of axon growth.

Protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma (PTPsigma) belongs to the LAR family of receptor tyrosine phosphatases and was previously shown to negatively regulate axon growth. The substrate for PTPsigma and the effector(s) mediating this inhibitory effect were unknown. Here we report the identification of N-cadherin as an in vivo substrate for PTPsigma. Using brain lysates from PTPsigma knockout mice, in combination with substrate trapping, we identified a hyper-tyrosine-phosphorylated protein of approximately 120 kDa in the knockout animals (relative to sibling controls), which was identified by mass spectrometry and immunoblotting as N-cadherin. beta-Catenin also precipitated in the complex and was also a substrate for PTPsigma. Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, which highly express endogenous N-cadherin and PTPsigma, exhibited a faster growth rate in the knockout mice than in the sibling controls when grown on laminin or N-cadherin substrata. However, when N-cadherin function was disrupted by an inhibitory peptide or lowering calcium concentrations, the differential growth rate between the knockout and sibling control mice was greatly diminished. These results suggest that the elevated tyrosine phosphorylation of N-cadherin in the PTPsigma(-/-) mice likely disrupted N-cadherin function, resulting in accelerated DRG nerve growth. We conclude that N-cadherin is a physiological substrate for PTPsigma and that N-cadherin (and likely beta-catenin) participates in PTPsigma-mediated inhibition of axon growth.[1]


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