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J Lab Clin Med. 1999 Aug;134(2):115-23.

Marked impairment of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B activity in adipose tissue of obese subjects with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Medicine, University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Memphis, USA.


Protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) are required for the dephosphorylation of the insulin receptor (IR) and its initial cellular substrates, and it has recently been reported that PTP-1B may play a role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance in obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). We therefore determined the amount and activity of PTP-1B in abdominal adipose tissue obtained from lean nondiabetic subjects (lean control (LC)), obese nondiabetic subjects (obese control (OC)), and subjects with both type 2 DM (DM2) and obesity (obese diabetic (OD)). PTP-1B protein levels were 3-fold higher in OC than in LC (1444 +/- 195 U vs 500 +/- 146 U (mean +/- SEM), P < .015), while OD exhibited a 5.5-fold increase (2728 +/- 286 U, P < .01). PTP activity was assayed by measuring the dephosphorylating activity toward a phosphorus 32-labeled synthetic dodecapeptide. In contrast to the increased PTP-1B protein levels, PTP-1B activity per unit of PTP-1B protein was markedly reduced, by 71% and 88% in OC and OD, respectively. Non-PTP-1B tyrosine phosphatase activity was comparable in all three groups. Similar results were obtained when PTP-1B activity was measured against intact human IR. A significant correlation was found between body mass index (BMI) and PTP-1B level (r = 0.672, P < .02), whereas BMI and PTP-1B activity per unit of PTP-1B showed a strong inverse correlation (r = -0.801, P < .002). These data suggest that the insulin resistance of obesity and DM2 is characterized by the increased expression of a catalytically impaired PTP-1B in adipose tissue and that impaired PTP-1B activity may be pathogenic for insulin resistance in these conditions.

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