The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) forms a complex with p59 fyn kinase and activates it via a mechanism that has remained unknown. We show that the NCAM140 isoform directly interacts with the intracellular domain of the receptor-like protein tyrosine phosphatase RPTPα, a known activator of p59fyn. Whereas this direct interaction is Ca2+ independent, formation of the complex is enhanced by Ca2+-dependent spectrin cytoskeleton-mediated cross-linking of NCAM and RPTPα in response to NCAM activation and is accompanied by redistribution of the complex to lipid rafts. Association between NCAM and p59fyn is lost in RPTPα-deficient brains and is disrupted by dominant-negative RPTPα mutants, demonstrating that RPTPα is a link between NCAM and p59fyn. NCAM-mediated p59fyn activation is abolished in RPTPα-deficient neurons, and disruption of the NCAM-p59fyn complex in RPTPα-deficient neurons or with dominant-negative RPTPα mutants blocks NCAM-dependent neurite outgrowth, implicating RPTPα as a major phosphatase involved in NCAM-mediated signaling.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology