The structure and regulation of protein phosphatases

Annual Review of Biochemistry
P Cohen


Four major serine/threonine-specific protein phosphatase catalytic subunits are present in the cytoplasm of animal cells. Three of these enzymes, PP-1, PP-2A, and PP-2B, are members of the same gene family, while PP-2C appears to be distinct. PP-1, PP-2A, and PP-2B are complexed to other subunits in vivo, whereas PP-2C has only been isolated as a monomeric protein. PP-1, PP-2A, and PP-2C have broad and overlapping specificities in vitro, and account for virtually all measurable activity in tissue extracts toward a variety of phosphoproteins that regulate metabolism, muscle contractility, and other processes. Their precise functions in vivo are unknown, although important clues to the physiological roles of PP-1 and PP-2A are provided by the effects of okadaic acid and by the subcellular localization of PP-1. The active forms of PP-1 are largely particulate, and their association with subcellular structures is mediated by "targetting subunits" that direct PP-1 to particular locations, enhance its activity toward certain substrates, and confer important regulatory properties upon it. This concept is best established for the glycogen-bound enzymes in skeletal muscle and liver (PP-1G) and the myofibrillar form (PP-1M) in skeletal m...Continue Reading


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