Biochemistry Online: An Approach Based on Chemical Logic

Biochemistry Online





Learning Goals/Objectives for Chapter 9C:
After class and this reading, students will be able to

  • define kinases and phosphatases and their role in signal transduction
  • define primary and secondary messengers and give specific examples of each
  • describe the role of G proteins in coupling ligand induced conformational changes in the bound receptor to activation of specific effector proteins such as adenylate cyclase and phospholipase
  • differentiate between kinases activated by second messengers and those activated by primary messengers (ligand-gated receptor Tyr kinases)
  • describe the structural characteristics of G protein coupled serpentine receptors and ligand gated receptor tyrosine kinases
  • draw a diagram showing the general features of kinases mediated signal transduction pathways that lead to activation of gene expression
  • differentiate between neuron responses mediated by neurotransmitters on binding gated receptor/ion channels compares to G-protein coupled receptors

Estonian Translation by Anna Galovich

C11.  Phosphatases

There are three main families of phosphatases, the phospho-Tyr phosphatases (PTP), the phospho-Ser/Thr phosphatases, and those that cleave both.  Of all phosphorylation sites, most (86%) are on Ser, 12% involve Thr, and about 2% on Tyr.  They can also be categorized by the molecular sizes, inhibitors, divalent cation requirements, etc.  In contrast to kinases which differ in the structure of their catalytic domains, many phosphatases (PPs below) gain specificity by binding protein cofactors which facilitate translocation and binding to specific phosphoproteins.  The active phosphatase hence often consists of a complex of the phosphatase catalytic subunit and a regulatory subunit.  Regulatory subunits for Tyr phosphatases may contain a SH2 domain allowing binding of the binary complex to autophosphorylated membrane receptor Tyr kinases.

Important Ser/Thr phosphatases (PPs for Protein Phosphatases) include:

PP1, 2A and 2B share a great deal of amino acid homology, and based on this homology, belong to one family.  PP2C belongs to another.  PPs are often categories into three families including, phosphoprotein phosphatases (PPPs) and metal-dependent protein phosphatases (PPMs).  There about 30 catalytic PP subunits (many fold fewer than Ser/Thr Kinases).  They gain specificity by binding numerous modulatory regulatory subunits.

As with other proteins, the names given to the proteins when discovered often do not reflect an organization scheme that would name different members based on structural similarities.  PP-1, 2A, and 2B are better named Ppp1, Ppp2, and Ppp3 which denotes member of the Protein PP (PPP) family.  PP-2C would be named Ppm1 as the first member of the PPN family.   All  PPPs have three short sequence motifs that bind divalent cations. 

Protein Tyr phosphatases (PTPs) consist of receptor-like (transmembrane) and intracellular Tyr phosphatases.  They more resemble tyrosine kinases in their complexity than the Ser/Thr phosphatases.   There are about 100 PTPs in the genome, a number similar to the number of protein tyrosine kinases.  PTPs have an active site Cys in a  CX5R-(S/T) motif with an active site Cys nucleophile and an Arg in the phosphate binding (P) loop.   Important examples include:

Figure:  PTP Super Family

PTP Super Family

Web Links for Phosphatases

Nontransmembrane and Receptor-Like Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases

Web Resources on Phosphatases

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