Introduction to Phosphatases

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Introduction to Protein Phosphatases

Protein phosphatases are key components in many signaling pathways. They work together with kinases to regulate most of the signal transduction in eukaryotic cells. By turning “on” and “off” the substrate activity, protein phosphatases also control many other cellular processes, such as metabolism, cell cycle progression, cytoskeleton assembly, cell movement, apoptosis, and differentiation. Not surprisingly then, protein phosphatases are involved in many human diseases, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and autoimmunity diseases. In contrast to protein kinases, most of which share a eukaryotic protein kinase (ePK) superfamily catalytic domain, protein phosphatases have catalytic domains from multiple superfamilies with distinct protein folds and catalytic mechanisms.