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NRAMP-1 (natural resistance-associated macrophage protein-1) has been associated with innate resistance to unrelated intracellular pathogen infections, up-regulation of proinflammatory phagocyte functions, and susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. It is still unclear how the divalent cation transport function of NRAMP-1 accounts for the associated pleiotropic effects. In this study, we evaluated the impact of murine macrophage NRAMP-1 expression on the activity of protein-tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) as an upstream event contributing to the NRAMP-1 regulation of signal transduction and control of effector macrophage functions. Functional expression of NRAMP-1 results in lower macrophage PTP activity and increased protein phosphorylation. Decreased PTP activity is not a result of changes in protein expression but rather a reversible regulatory mechanism involving the interaction with NRAMP-1 metal substrates. In the context of intracellular infections, NRAMP-1 expression prevents full macrophage PTP induction by Leishmania infection, correlating with higher nitric oxide production and lower parasite survival. We suggest that NRAMP-1 divalent cation transport leads to transient inhibition of PTPs via direct PTP-metal interaction and/or by reactive oxygen species-dependent PTP oxidation, consequently promoting positive signal transduction, as a backbone for the induction of proinflammatory phagocyte functions.


Maria Adelaida Gomez, Samantha Li, Michel L Tremblay, Martin Olivier. NRAMP-1 expression modulates protein-tyrosine phosphatase activity in macrophages: impact on host cell signaling and functions. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2007 Dec 14;282(50):36190-8

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PMID: 17942403

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