Tong, J; Killeen, M; Steven, R; Binns, K L; Culotti, J; Pawson, T
Caenorhabditis elegans UNC-5 and its mammalian homologues such as RCM are receptors for the secreted axon guidance cue UNC-6/netrin and are required to mediate the repulsive effects of UNC-6/netrin on growth cones. We find that C. elegans UNC-5 and mouse RCM are phosphorylated on tyrosine in vivo. C. elegans UNC-5 tyrosine phosphorylation is reduced in unc-6 null mutants, and RCM tyrosine phosphorylation is induced by netrin-1 in transfected HEK-293 cells, demonstrating that phosphorylation of UNC-5 proteins is enhanced by UNC-6/netrin stimulation in both worms and mammalian cells. An activated Src tyrosine kinase induces phosphorylation of RCM at multiple cytoplasmic tyrosine residues creating potential binding sites for cytoplasmic signaling proteins. Indeed, the NH2-terminal SH2 domain of the Shp2 tyrosine phosphatase bound specifically to a Tyr(568) RCM phosphopeptide. Furthermore, Shp2 associated with RCM in a netrin-dependent manner in transfected cells, and co-immunoprecipitated with RCM from an embryonic mouse brain lysate. A Y568F mutant RCM receptor failed to bind Shp2 and was more highly phosphorylated on tyrosine than the wild type receptor. These results suggest that netrin-stimulated phosphorylation of RCM Tyr(568) recruits Shp2 to the cell membrane where it can potentially modify RCM phosphorylation and function.