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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Mar 12;315(3):568-74.

Identification and H2O2 sensitivity of the major constitutive MAPK phosphatase from rat brain.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Scranton, Scranton, PA 18510, USA.


The present study examined in subcellular fractions from rat brain the nature and sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide of constitutively expressed mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatase activity. MAPK phosphatase activity was defined as the activity directed towards a dual-phosphorylated (pT/pY) peptide corresponding to the activation domain of the extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK) subtype of the MAPKs. The use of phosphatase inhibitors and biochemical analyses demonstrate that the MAPK phosphatase activity, which was highest in the microsomal membrane and soluble fractions, was attributable mainly, if not entirely, to protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Moreover, hydrogen peroxide (in the absence and presence of reduced glutathione) and glutathione disulfide inhibited the MAPK phosphatase activity by a dithiothreitol-reversible mechanism. These results provide direct support for mounting evidence that PP2A is a major regulator of MAPK phosphorylation in brain and suggest that inhibition of PP2A activity via reversible oxidation of a cysteine thiol(s) may underlie at least in part the activation of MAPKs occurring in response to hydrogen peroxide and oxidative stress.

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