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Methods Enzymol. 1988;159:339-46.

Methods to distinguish various types of protein phosphatase activity.


To distinguish the action of protein Tyr(P) and protein Ser(P)/Thr(P) phosphatases on 32P-labeled phosphoproteins in subcellular fractions different inhibitors and activators are utilized. Comparison of the effects of added compounds provides a convenient, indirect method to characterize dephosphorylation reactions. Protein Tyr(P) phosphatases are specifically inhibited by micromolar Zn2+ or vanadate, and show maximal activity in the presence of EDTA. The other class of cellular phosphatases, specific for protein Ser(P) and Thr(P) residues, are inhibited by fluoride and EDTA. In this class of enzymes two major functional types can be distinguished: those sensitive to inhibition by the heat-stable protein inhibitor-2 and not stimulated by polycations, and those not sensitive to inhibition and stimulated by polycations. Preparation of 32P-labeled Tyr(P) and Ser(P) phosphoproteins also is presented for the direct measurement of phosphatase activities in preparations by the release of acid-soluble [32P]phosphate.

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