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Structure of a Tyrosine Phosphatase Adhesive Interaction Reveals a Spacer-Clamp Mechanism

Science  31 Aug 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5842, pp. 1217-1220
DOI: 10.1126/science.1144646

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Abstract

Cell-cell contacts are fundamental to multicellular organisms and are subject to exquisite levels of control. Human RPTPμ is a type IIB receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase that both forms an adhesive contact itself and is involved in regulating adhesion by dephosphorylating components of cadherin-catenin complexes. Here we describe a 3.1 angstrom crystal structure of the RPTPμ ectodomain that forms a homophilic trans (antiparallel) dimer with an extended and rigid architecture, matching the dimensions of adherens junctions. Cell surface expression of deletion constructs induces intercellular spacings that correlate with the ectodomain length. These data suggest that the RPTPμ ectodomain acts as a distance gauge and plays a key regulatory function, locking the phosphatase to its appropriate functional location.

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