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Cell Signal. 2012 Aug;24(8):1541-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2012.03.013. Epub 2012 Mar 28.

New insights in the activity of voltage sensitive phosphatases.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.


The Ciona intestinalis voltage sensitive phosphatase (Ci-VSP) was the first proven enzyme to be under direct control of the membrane potential. Ci-VSP belongs to a family of proteins known as Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases (PTP), which are a group of enzymes that catalyze the removal of phosphate groups from phosphatidylinositides and phosphorylated tyrosine residues on proteins. What makes Ci-VSP and similar phosphatases unique is the presence of a Voltage Sensing Domain (VSD) in their N-terminus. The VSD of Ci-VSP shares high homology with those from voltage-gated channels and confers voltage sensitivity to these enzymes. The catalytic domain of Ci-VSP displays extraordinary structural and functional similarities to PTEN. This latter protein is encoded by the Phosphatase and Tensin homolog deleted from chromosome 10 gene, thus its name, and it is known as a tumor suppressor. The resemblance between these proteins has prompted the use of PTEN as a template for the study of Ci-VSP and produced a rapid advance in our understanding of the mechanism of activity of Ci-VSP. This review will be focused on discussing recent advances in the understanding of the activation mechanism for these molecules known as electrochemical coupling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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