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Protein tyrosine phosphatase-1B regulates the tyrosine phosphorylation of the adapter Grb2-associated binder 1 (Gab1) in the retina

Ammaji Rajala14, Ashok K Dilly145 and Raju VS Rajala1234*

Author Affiliations

1 Departments of Ophthalmology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, 73104, USA

2 Departments of Physiology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, 73104, USA

3 Departments of Cell Biology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, 73104, USA

4 Dean A. McGee Eye Institute, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 608 Stanton L. Young Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK, 73104, USA

5 Present address: Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, 48202, USA

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Cell Communication and Signaling 2013, 11:20  doi:10.1186/1478-811X-11-20

Published: 22 March 2013



Gab1 (Grb2-associated binder 1) is a key coordinator that belongs to the insulin receptor substrate-1 like family of adaptor molecules and is tyrosine phosphorylated in response to various growth factors, cytokines, and numerous other molecules. Tyrosine phosphorylated Gab1 is able to recruit a number of signaling effectors including PI3K, SHP2 and PLC-γ. In this study, we characterized the localization and regulation of tyrosine phosphorylation of Gab1 in the retina.


Our immuno localization studies suggest that Gab1 is expressed in rod photoreceptor inner segments. We found that hydrogen peroxide activates the tyrosine phosphorylation of Gab1 ex vivo and hydrogen peroxide has been shown to inhibit the protein tyrosine phosphatase PTP1B activity. We found a stable association between the D181A substrate trap mutant of PTP1B and Gab1. Our studies suggest that PTP1B interacts with Gab1 through Tyrosine 83 and this residue may be the major PTP1B target residue on Gab1. We also found that Gab1 undergoes a light-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation and PTP1B regulates the phosphorylation state of Gab1. Consistent with these observations, we found an enhanced Gab1 tyrosine phosphorylation in PTP1B deficient mice and also in retinas treated ex vivo with a PTP1B specific allosteric inhibitor.


Our laboratory has previously reported that retinas deficient of PTP1B are resistant to light damage compared to wild type mice. Since Gab1 is negatively regulated by PTP1B, a part of the retinal neuroprotective effect we have observed previously in PTP1B deficient mice could be contributed by Gab1 as well. In summary, our data suggest that PTP1B regulates the phosphorylation state of retinal Gab1 in vivo.

Adapter protein; Gab1; PTP1B; Phosphorylation; Retina; Photoreceptors