The Journal of biological chemistry

Dephosphorylation and inactivation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase by a mitogen-induced Thr/Tyr protein phosphatase.

PMID 8344896


The activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) or mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) by a dual specific kinase, MEK (MAPK or ERK kinase), is a critical event in the mitogenic signal transduction pathway. However, little is known about the mechanism of ERK inactivation, which occurs after stimulation. In this report, we demonstrated that a dual specific protein phosphatase, HVH1 (human VH1 phosphatase homolog) whose expression is induced by mitogenic growth factors, specifically inactivates ERK. When several phosphoproteins were tested for recombinant HVH1, only MEK-activated ERK1 was dephosphorylated. HVH1 selectively dephosphorylated threonine and tyrosine residues but not serine residues of the activated ERK1. Inactivation of ERK1 by HVH1 could be reversed by MEK, suggesting that HVH1 dephosphorylates the same residues that are recognized and phosphorylated by MEK. Our results suggest that mitogenic growth factors transiently activate ERK (peak at 5 min followed by a rapid decline) by temporally activating MEK (the on signal) and inducing the expression of HVH phosphatase (the off signal).

Related Materials