Author(s): Gavrieli M, Watanabe N, Loftin SK, Murphy TL, Murphy KM
B and T lymphocytes express receptors providing positive and negative co-stimulatory signals. We recently identified a novel co-stimulatory molecule, B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA), which exerts inhibitory effects on B and T lymphocytes. The cytoplasmic domain of murine and human BTLA share three conserved tyrosine-based signaling motifs, a Grb-2 recognition consensus, and two immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motifs (ITIMs). Phosphorylation of the cytoplasmic domain of BTLA induced the association with the protein tyrosine phosphatases SHP-1 and SHP-2. Association of SHP-1 and SHP-2 to other receptors can involve recruitment to either a single receptor ITIM or to two receptor ITIMs. Here, we analyzed the requirements of BTLA interaction with SHP-1 and SHP-2 in a series of murine and human BTLA mutants. For human BTLA, mutations of either Y257 or Y282, but not Y226, abrogated association with both SHP-1 and SHP-2. For murine BTLA, mutation of either Y274 or Y299, but not Y245, also abrogated association with both SHP-1 and SHP-2. These results indicate that for both murine and human BTLA, association with SHP-1 or SHP-2 requires both of conserved ITIM motifs and does not involve the conserved Grb-2 consensus. Thus, similar to the bisphosphoryl tyrosine-based activation motif (BTAM) by which the Grb-2 associated binder (Gab1), PDGF receptor, and PECAM-1 recruit SHP-2, BTLA also relies on dual ITIMs for its association with the phosphatases SHP-1 and SHP-2.