Growth regulatory role of R-PTP(mu) in normal and neoplastic epithelial cells

Pedro Jose Beltran, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Cellular oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes regulate cellular adhesion and proliferation, two important events in malignant transformation. Even though receptor-like protein tyrosine phosphatases (R-PTPs) can influence these events, their role in malignant transformation has not been studied. The major goal of this study was to determine whether downregulation of R-PTP$\mu$ expression in lung epithelial cells is associated with or causal to neoplastic transformation. Examination of R-PTP$\mu$ expression in normal and carcinoma cells demonstrated that lung epithelial cells expressed R-PTP$\mu$ whereas lung carcinoma cells did not, and that incubation with TGF-$\alpha$ and HGF induced a two fold increase in R-PTP$\mu$ mRNA expression. To associate the expression of R-PTP$\mu$ with neoplastic transformation, we transfected lung epithelial cells with the H-ras oncogene. Transformation resulted in the activation of the MAPK signal transduction pathway, the hyperphosphorylation of c-met, and the production of HGF. Upon analysis of R-PTP$\mu$ expression, we observed a significant decrease in R-PTP$\mu$ mRNA and protein levels suggesting that transformation can directly or indirectly downregulate the expression of R-PTP$\mu.$ TGF-$\beta$ reversed the H-ras transformed phenotype, an event directly correlated with upregulation of R-PTP$\mu.$ To provide a casual relationship between R-PTP$\mu$ and cessation of tumor cell growth, we transfected carcinoma cells with the wild type R-PTP$\mu$ cDNA. Transiently expressing cells were selected by FACS using the mAb 3D7 and plated into individual wells. Carcinoma cells positive for R-PTP$\mu$ expression did not grow into colonies whereas non-R-PTP$\mu$ expressing carcinoma cells did, suggesting that expression of R-PTP$\mu$ arrested cell growth. To better understand the growth arrest induced by R-PTP$\mu$, we transfected the H-ras transformed lung epithelial cell line (MvLu-1-ras) with R-PTP$\mu$ (MvLu-1-ras/R-PTP$\mu$). Examination of growth factor receptor phosphorylation revealed significant inhibition of c-met and EGF-R. Furthermore, these cells underwent apoptosis in the absence of serum. Taken together the data demonstrate that the downregulation of R-PTP$\mu$ expression is an important step in neoplastic transformation of lung epithelial cells and that its presence can induce apoptosis and inhibit the signaling of c-met and EGF-R, two major growth factor receptors in lung carcinoma. In conclusion, the expression of R-PTP$\mu$ is inversely correlated with neoplastic transformation, growth and survival of tumor cells.

Subject Area

Cellular biology|Oncology

Recommended Citation

Beltran, Pedro Jose, "Growth regulatory role of R-PTP(mu) in normal and neoplastic epithelial cells" (1998). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9909435.