Phosphatase Subfamily PAPL

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Phosphatase Classification: Fold PPPL: Superfamily PPPL: Family PAP: PAPL


PAPL is found in holozoa but lost from most arthropods. Humans have a single member, PAPL (aka ACP7, PAPL1), but many invertebrates have multiple members, including 3 members each in Monosiga, Nematostella, sponge, and sea urchin. These appear to be independent expansions by protein sequence similarity, and in sea urchin, they form a tandem duplication cluster.

Domain Structure

PAPL has a phosphatase domain and most members have an N-terminal signal peptide cleavage site. Though predicted to be secreted, human PAPL is found mostly in the cytoplasm (


PAPL function is unclear. There may be some confusion in the literature, as PAPL/ACP7 may be confused with another PAP family member, ACP5, both of which are putative secreted proteins. The structural similarity between PAPL and ACP5 has been explored [1].


  1. Flanagan JU, Cassady AI, Schenk G, Guddat LW, and Hume DA. Identification and molecular modeling of a novel, plant-like, human purple acid phosphatase. Gene. 2006 Aug 1;377:12-20. DOI:10.1016/j.gene.2006.02.031 | PubMed ID:16793224 | HubMed [Flanagan]