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FEBS J. 2008 Mar;275(5):867-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2008.06251.x.

Protein tyrosine phosphatases: structure-function relationships.

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1
Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, UK. Lydia.Tabernero@manchester.ac.uk

Abstract

Structural analysis of protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) has expanded considerably in the last several years, producing more than 200 structures in this class of enzymes (from 35 different proteins and their complexes with ligands). The small-medium size of the catalytic domain of approximately 280 residues plus a very compact fold makes it amenable to cloning and overexpression in bacterial systems thus facilitating crystallographic analysis. The low molecular weight PTPs being even smaller, approximately 150 residues, are also perfect targets for NMR analysis. The availability of different structures and complexes of PTPs with substrates and inhibitors has provided a wealth of information with profound effects in the way we understand their biological functions. Developments in mammalian expression technology recently led to the first crystal structure of a receptor-like PTP extracellular region. Altogether, the PTP structural work significantly advanced our knowledge regarding the architecture, regulation and substrate specificity of these enzymes. In this review, we compile the most prominent structural traits that characterize PTPs and their complexes with ligands. We discuss how the data can be used to design further functional experiments and as a basis for drug design given that many PTPs are now considered strategic therapeutic targets for human diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

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