SHP-2 is a widely distributed Src homology 2 (SH2) domain-containing tyrosine phosphatase that is recruited to growth factor receptors on stimulation. We have transiently co-expressed several catalytically active and inactive forms of the enzyme with the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptor in human embryonic kidney 293 cells. The catalytically active forms of SHP-2 decreased the tyrosine phosphorylation of the receptor, whereas the catalytically inactive forms increased the phosphorylation. However, PDGF-induced activation of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway was enhanced by the active forms of SHP-2 but decreased by the inactive forms. The results suggest that the PDGF receptor is a physiological substrate of SHP-2 and that SHP-2 has a positive role in the PDGF-stimulated activation of MAP kinase. The dissociation of the receptor phosphorylation from the activation of MAP kinase suggests that signalling through growth factor receptors does not depend merely on their tyrosine phosphorylation.

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