School of Medicine Publications and Presentations

Document Type


Publication Date



UVB exposure can contribute to the development of skin cancer by modulating protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) signaling. It has been suggested that UVB radiation increases the ligand-dependent activation of PTKs and induces PTP inactivation. Our recent studies have shown that T-cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TC-PTP) attenuates skin carcinogenesis induced by chemical regimens, which indicates its critical role in the prevention of skin cancer. In the current work, we report that TC-PTP increases keratinocyte susceptibility to UVB-induced apoptosis via the downregulation of Flk-1/JNK signaling. We showed that loss of TC-PTP led to resistance to UVB-induced apoptosis in vivo epidermis. We established immortalized primary keratinocytes (IPKs) from epidermal-specific TC-PTP-deficient (K14Cre.Ptpn2fl/fl) mice. Immortalized TC-PTP-deficient keratinocytes (TC-PTP/KO IPKs) showed increased cell survival against UVB-induced apoptosis which was concomitant with a UVB-mediated increase in Flk-1 phosphorylation, especially on tyrosine residue 1173. Inhibition of Flk-1 by either its specific inhibitors or siRNA in TC-PTP/KO IPKs reversed this effect and significantly increased cell death after UVB irradiation in comparison with untreated TC-PTP/KO IPKs. Immunoprecipitation analysis using the TC-PTP substrate-trapping mutant TCPTP-D182A indicated that TC-PTP directly interacts with Flk-1 to dephosphorylate it and their interaction was stimulated by UVB. Following UVBmediated Flk-1 activation, the level of JNK phosphorylation was also significantly increased in TC-PTP/KO IPKs compared to control IPKs. Similar to our results with Flk-1, treatment of TC-PTP/KO IPKs with the JNK inhibitor SP600125 significantly increased apoptosis after UVB irradiation, confirming that the effect of TC-PTP on UVB-mediated apoptosis is regulated by Flk-1/JNK signaling. Western blot analysis showed that both phosphorylated Flk-1 and phosphorylated JNK were significantly increased in the epidermis of TC-PTP-deficient mice compared to control mice following UVB. Our results suggest that TC-PTP plays a protective role against UVB-induced keratinocyte cell damage by promoting apoptosis via negative regulation of Flk-1/JNK survival signaling.


© The Author(s) 2018

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

Cell Death and Disease



Academic Level


Mentor/PI Department

Molecular Science



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.