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Plant Physiol. 1991 Oct;97(2):677-83.

Isolation and expression of a maize type 1 protein phosphatase.

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  • 1Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia Missouri 65211.


The dephosphorylation of phosphoproteins by protein phosphatases represents an important mechanism for regulating specific cellular processes in eukaryotic cells. The aim of the present study was to examine the structural and biochemical characteristics of a specific class of protein Ser/Thr phosphatases (type 1 protein phosphatases) which have received very little attention in higher plants. A cDNA clone (ZmPP1) was isolated from a maize (Zea mays L.) cDNA library. The deduced amino acid sequence is 80% identical with a 292-amino acid core region of rabbit and yeast type 1 protein phosphatase catalytic subunit. Southern blot analysis indicates that ZmPP1 may belong to a family of related genes in maize. ZmPP1 RNA was present in all maize tissues examined, indicating that it may play a fundamental role in cellular homeostasis. To demonstrate that ZmPP1 encodes an active protein phosphatase and, in an effort to characterize this gene product biochemically, high levels of ZmPP1 were expressed in Escherichia coli. Active ZmPP1 enzyme dephosphorylates rabbit phosphorylase a and is strongly inhibited by okadaic acid and by the mammalian inhibitor-2. These data show that ZmPP1 is structurally and biochemically very similar to the corresponding enzyme in animal cells. These results also suggest that the function and regulation of the higher plant type 1 protein phosphatases may be similar to the mammalian protein phosphatases.

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