Phospho-PTM proteomic discovery of novel EPO- modulated kinases and phosphatases, including PTPN18 as a positive regulator of EPOR/JAK2 Signaling.

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Center for Molecular Medicine, Maine Medical Center Research Institute

Journal Title

Cellular signalling

MeSH Headings

Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases, Proteomics, JAK2 protein, human, Janus Kinase 2, Signal Transduction


The formation of erythroid progenitor cells depends sharply upon erythropoietin (EPO), its cell surface receptor (erythropoietin receptor, EPOR), and Janus kinase 2 (JAK2). Clinically, recombinant human EPO (rhEPO) additionally is an important anti-anemia agent for chronic kidney disease (CKD), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and chemotherapy, but induces hypertension, and can exert certain pro-tumorigenic effects. Cellular signals transduced by EPOR/JAK2 complexes, and the nature of EPO-modulated signal transduction factors, therefore are of significant interest. By employing phospho-tyrosine post-translational modification (p-Y PTM) proteomics and human EPO- dependent UT7epo cells, we have identified 22 novel kinases and phosphatases as novel EPO targets, together with their specific sites of p-Y modification. New kinases modified due to EPO include membrane palmitoylated protein 1 (MPP1) and guanylate kinase 1 (GUK1) guanylate kinases, together with the cytoskeleton remodeling kinases, pseudopodium enriched atypical kinase 1 (PEAK1) and AP2 associated kinase 1 (AAK1). Novel EPO- modified phosphatases include protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type A (PTPRA), phosphohistidine phosphatase 1 (PHPT1), tensin 2 (TENC1), ubiquitin associated and SH3 domain containing B (UBASH3B) and protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 18 (PTPN18). Based on PTPN18's high expression in hematopoietic progenitors, its novel connection to JAK kinase signaling, and a unique EPO- regulated PTPN18-pY389 motif which is modulated by JAK2 inhibitors, PTPN18's actions in UT7epo cells were investigated. Upon ectopic expression, wt-PTPN18 promoted EPO dose-dependent cell proliferation, and survival. Mechanistically, PTPN18 sustained the EPO- induced activation of not only mitogen-activated protein kinases 1 and 3 (ERK1/2), AKT serine/threonine kinase 1-3 (AKT), and signal transducer and activator of transcription 5A and 5B (STAT5), but also JAK2. Each effect further proved to depend upon PTPN18's EPO- modulated (p)Y389 site. In analyses of the EPOR and the associated adaptor protein RHEX (regulator of hemoglobinization and erythroid cell expansion), wt-PTPN18 increased high molecular weight EPOR forms, while sharply inhibiting the EPO-induced phosphorylation of RHEX-pY141. Each effect likewise depended upon PTPN18-Y389. PTPN18 thus promotes signals for EPO-dependent hematopoietic cell growth, and may represent a new druggable target for myeloproliferative neoplasms.



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