The insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) receptor exhibits structural and functional similarities to the insulin receptor. Although the regulation of the insulin-receptor tyrosine kinase has been extensively investigated, the mechanisms involved in phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of the IGF-I receptor have received only little attention. To obtain a better understanding of the mode of IGF-I action, we have investigated the effects of protein phosphotyrosine phosphatases (PTPases) on the phosphorylation status of the IGF-I receptor. The dephosphorylation of the human IGF-I receptor by membrane-associated tyrosine phosphatases was studied by an immuno-enzymic assay based on the recognition of phosphotyrosine residues by anti-phosphotyrosine antibodies. Using intact IGF-I receptors as substrates, we show that they could be completely dephosphorylated by different cellular PTPases. Three pieces of evidence indicate that receptor dephosphorylation takes place on phosphotyrosine, i.e. the inhibition profile of phosphatase activity by zinc and vanadate, its absolute requirement for thiol compounds and the diminution of [32P]phosphotyrosine labelling of the beta subunit assessed by SDS/PAGE and phosphoamino acid analysis. Tyrosine kinase activity and autophosphorylation of the IGF-I receptor were decreased in a dose-dependent manner by PTPases, indicating that partial dephosphorylation of the receptor was associated with a decrease in its intrinsic activity. The sensitivity of the activated human IGF-I receptor to dephosphorylation on tyrosine leads to the speculation that IGF-I receptor activity might be regulated by mechanisms such as those described for the insulin receptor. Further investigation of the pathways of IGF-I receptor dephosphorylation will contribute to define the role(s) of PTPases in the overall mechanism of IGF-I signalling.
- © 1992 The Biochemical Society, London