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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1997 Sep 5;1341(2):137-56.

Structure and function of the low Mr phosphotyrosine protein phosphatases.

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Department of Biochemical Sciences, University of Florence, Italy.


Phosphotyrosine protein phosphatases (PTPases) catalyse the hydrolysis of phosphotyrosine residues in proteins and are hence implicated in the complex mechanism of the control of cell proliferation and differentiation. The low Mr PTPases are a group of soluble PTPases displaying a reduced molecular mass; in addition, a group of low molecular mass dual specificity (ds)PTPases which hydrolyse phosphotyrosine and phosphoserine/threonine residues in proteins are known. The enzymes belonging to the two groups are unrelated to each other and to other PTPase classes except for the presence of a CXXXXXRS/T sequence motif containing some of the catalytic residues (active site signature) and for the common catalytic mechanism, clearly indicating convergent evolution. The low Mr PTPases have a long evolutionary history since microbial (prokaryotic and eukaryotic) counterparts of both tyrosine-specific and dsPTPases have been described. Despite the relevant number of data reported on the structural and catalytic features of a number of low Mr PTPases, only limited information is presently available on the substrate specificity and the true biological roles of these enzymes, in prokaryotic, yeast and eukaryotic cells.

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