Protein tyrosine dephosphorylation after Fas cross-linking occurred In Fas apoptosis-sensitive CEM-6 cells but not in Fas apoptosis-resistant MOLT-4 cells, and apoptosis in the CEM-6 cells could be inhibited by the protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor, pervanadate. The time course and level of dephosphorylation were correlated with Increased hematopoletic cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (HCP) activity, but not with the activity of two other tyrosine phosphatases. The level of expression of HCP was correlated with Fas apoptosis function in eleven human and murine Fas-positive lymphoid cell lines. Expression of recombinant HCP In the MOLT-4 cell line converted this Fas apoptosis-resistant cell line to Fas apoptosis sensitive. HCP-mutant mev/mev mice exhibited increased expression of Fas but decreased Fas-mediated apoptosis function in lymphold organs after anti-mouse Fas antibody treatment in vivo. Thus, HCP-mediated protein dephosphorylation is involved in the delivery of the Fas apoptosis signal in lymphoid cells. © 1995.