Angiotensin II type 2 (AT2) receptors are involved in the inhibition of cell proliferation as well as in apoptosis and neuronal differentiation, through intracellular signalling pathways that remain poorly defined. The present study examines the effect of AT2-receptor stimulation on growth-factor-induced pathways leading to the activation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases. In N1E-115 neuroblastoma cells, AT2 receptors inhibit the activity of MAP kinases induced by serum as well as by epidermal growth factor. The inhibitory effect of angiotensin II (Ang II) is rapid and transient, and affects both ERK1 and ERK2 (extracellular signal-related protein kinase) isoforms of the enzyme. AT2-mediated MAP kinase inactivation is not sensitive to pertussis toxin or okadaic acid, but involves a vanadate-sensitive protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP). Expression of MAP kinase phosphatase-1 (MKP-1) is not significantly modified upon AT2-receptor activation, and insensitivity to actinomycin D also rules out transcriptional induction of other MKPs as a possible mechanism for AT2-mediated inactivation of MAP kinases. In addition, we report here that both in N1E-115 cells and in Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing recombinant human AT2 receptors, Ang II rapidly stimulates the catalytic activity of SHP-1, a soluble PTP that has been implicated in termination of signalling by cytokine and growth-factor receptors. These findings thus demonstrate functional negative cross-talk between heptahelical AT2 receptors and receptor tyrosine kinases, and suggest that SHP-1 tyrosine phosphatase is an early transducer of the AT2 receptor signalling pathway.