T-cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TC-PTP), encoded by Ptpn2, has been shown to function as a tumor suppressor during skin carcinogenesis. In the current study, we generated a novel epidermal-specific TC-PTP-overexpressing (K5HA.Ptpn2) mouse model to show that TC-PTP contributes to the attenuation of chemically induced skin carcinogenesis through the synergistic regulation of STAT1, STAT3, STAT5, and PI3K/AKT signaling. We found overexpression of TC-PTP increased epidermal sensitivity to DMBA-induced apoptosis and it decreased TPA-mediated hyperproliferation, coinciding with reduced epidermal thickness. Inhibition of STAT1, STAT3, STAT5, or AKT reversed the effects of TC-PTP overexpression on epidermal survival and proliferation. Mice overexpressing TC-PTP in the epidermis developed significantly reduced numbers of tumors during skin carcinogenesis and presented a prolonged latency of tumor initiation. Examination of human papillomas and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) revealed that TC-PTP expression was significantly reduced and TC-PTP expression was inversely correlated with the increased grade of SCCs. Our findings demonstrate that TC-PTP is a potential therapeutic target for the prevention of human skin cancer given that it is a major negative regulator of oncogenic signaling.
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We thank H. Lee for technical assistance. This work was supported by NIH/NIEHS ES022250 (to D.J. Kim) and NIH/NIAID AI119131 (to S. Mummidi).
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Kim, M., Morales, L.D., Lee, C.J. et al. Overexpression of TC-PTP in murine epidermis attenuates skin tumor formation. Oncogene 39, 4241–4256 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41388-020-1282-8