PTPN9 dephosphorylates FGFR2 pY656/657 through interaction with ACAP1 and ameliorates pemigatinib effect in cholangiocarcinoma

Hepatology. 2024 Apr 1;79(4):798-812. doi: 10.1097/HEP.0000000000000552. Epub 2023 Jul 27.


Abstract and aim: Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a highly aggressive and lethal cancer that originates from the biliary epithelium. Systemic treatment options for CCA are currently limited, and the first targeted drug of CCA, pemigatinib, emerged in 2020 for CCA treatment by inhibiting FGFR2 phosphorylation. However, the regulatory mechanism of FGFR2 phosphorylation is not fully elucidated.

Approach and results: Here we screened the FGFR2-interacting proteins and showed that protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) N9 interacts with FGFR2 and negatively regulates FGFR2 pY656/657 . Using phosphatase activity assays and modeling the FGFR2-PTPN9 complex structure, we identified FGFR2 pY656/657 as a substrate of PTPN9, and found that sec. 14p domain of PTPN9 interacts with FGFR2 through ACAP1 mediation. Coexpression of PTPN9 and ACAP1 indicates a favorable prognosis for CCA. In addition, we identified key amino acids and motifs involved in the sec. 14p-APCP1-FGFR2 interaction, including the "YRETRRKE" motif of sec. 14p, Y471 of PTPN9, as well as the PH and Arf-GAP domain of ACAP1. Moreover, we discovered that the FGFR2 I654V substitution can decrease PTPN9-FGFR2 interaction and thereby reduce the effectiveness of pemigatinib treatment. Using a series of in vitro and in vivo experiments including patient-derived xenografts (PDX), we showed that PTPN9 synergistically enhances pemigatinib effectiveness and suppresses CCA proliferation, migration, and invasion by inhibiting FGFR2 pY656/657 .

Conclusions: Our study identifies PTPN9 as a negative regulator of FGFR2 phosphorylation and a synergistic factor for pemigatinib treatment. The molecular mechanism, oncogenic function, and clinical significance of the PTPN9-ACAP1-FGFR2 complex are revealed, providing more evidence for CCA precision treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Bile Duct Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Bile Ducts, Intrahepatic
  • Cholangiocarcinoma* / drug therapy
  • Epithelium
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • Humans
  • Morpholines*
  • Pyrimidines*
  • Pyrroles*
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2


  • pemigatinib
  • FGFR2 protein, human
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2
  • ACAP1 protein, human
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • Morpholines
  • Pyrimidines
  • Pyrroles