Protein tyrosine phosphatases

(Project leader: Prof. Dr. Andrew C. B. Cato)


Protein tyrosine phosphatases play important role in immune function. They dephosphorylate and inactivate signals emanating from the plasma membrane to influence different processes within cells. In allergic reactions, signals triggered by the aggregation of IgE receptors expressed on the surface of mast cells are also inactivated by protein tyrosine phosphatases.

As a number of these phosphatases is transcriptionally regulated by glucocorticoids, it is thought that the inhibitory effects of glucocorticoids in mast cells in allergy occur at the level of expression of protein tyrosine phosphatase genes. The long-term application of glucocorticoids is associated with several adverse reactions. A better understanding of the mode of action of glucocorticoids is therefore required to reduce the side effects.

The aim of this work is to use knock-out mouse models and biochemical and molecular biological techniques to identify the mechanism by which glucocorticoid-mediated regulation of protein tyrosine phosphatases contribute to anti-allergic reactions in mast cells.

It is hoped that these studies will greatly increase our understanding on the mechanisms of the antiallergic action of glucocorticoids and will pave the way to a search for more effective glucocorticoids for therapeutic purposes.

(Please click the picture to enlarge)

Dual specificity phosphatase 1
Dual specificity phosphatase 1

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  • Sekula-Neuner, S., Maier, J. V., Oppong, E., Cato, A. C. B., Hirtz, M and Fuchs, H (2011) Allergen arrays for antibody screening and immune cell activation profiling generated by parallel lipid Dip-Pen Nanolithography. Small (in press).
  • Obiri DD, Flink N, Maier JV, Neeb A, Maddalo D, Thiele W, Menon A, Stassen M, Kulkarni RH, Garabedian MJ, Barrios AM, Cato AC (2011)
    PEST-domain-enriched tyrosine phosphatase and glucocorticoids as
    regulators of anaphylaxis in mice. Allergy (in press).

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Prof. Dr. Andrew C. B. Cato

Ms. Ambili Ramachandran Menon

Mr. David Obiri

Mr. Emmanuel Oppong

Contact information:

Prof. Dr. Andrew C. B. Cato

Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe
Institute of Toxicology and Genetics
P. O. Box 3640
D-76021 Karlsruhe

(Office) +49 7247 822146
(Lab) +49 7247 823338

Fax: +49 7247 823354

Email: andrew.cato(at)

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