Tyrosine phosphorylation is a vital mechanism that contributes to skin carcinogenesis. It is regulated by the counter-activities of protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) and protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs). Here, we report the critical role of T-cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TC-PTP), encoded by Ptpn2, in chemically-induced skin carcinogenesis via the negative regulation of STAT3 and AKT signaling. Using epidermal specific TC-PTP knockout (K14Cre.Ptpn2fl/fl) mice, we demonstrate loss of TC-PTP led to a desensitization to tumor initiator 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced apoptosis both in vivo epidermis and in vitro keratinocytes. TC-PTP deficiency also resulted in a significant increase in epidermal thickness and hyperproliferation following exposure to the tumor promoter, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA). Western blot analysis showed that both phosphorylated STAT3 and phosphorylated AKT expressions were significantly increased in epidermis of TC-PTP-deficient mice compared to control mice following TPA treatment. Inhibition of STAT3 or AKT reversed the effects of TC-PTP deficiency on apoptosis and proliferation. Finally, TC-PTP knockout mice showed a shortened latency of tumorigenesis and significantly increased numbers of tumors during two-stage skin carcinogenesis. Our findings reveal that TC-PTP has potential as a novel target for the prevention of skin cancer through its role in the regulation of STAT3 and AKT signaling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas