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1.  A Prevalent Variant in PPP1R3A Impairs Glycogen Synthesis and Reduces Muscle Glycogen Content in Humans and Mice 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(1):e27.
Background
Stored glycogen is an important source of energy for skeletal muscle. Human genetic disorders primarily affecting skeletal muscle glycogen turnover are well-recognised, but rare. We previously reported that a frameshift/premature stop mutation in PPP1R3A, the gene encoding RGL, a key regulator of muscle glycogen metabolism, was present in 1.36% of participants from a population of white individuals in the UK. However, the functional implications of the mutation were not known. The objective of this study was to characterise the molecular and physiological consequences of this genetic variant.
Methods and Findings
In this study we found a similar prevalence of the variant in an independent UK white population of 744 participants (1.46%) and, using in vivo 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy studies, demonstrate that human carriers (n = 6) of the variant have low basal (65% lower, p = 0.002) and postprandial muscle glycogen levels. Mice engineered to express the equivalent mutation had similarly decreased muscle glycogen levels (40% lower in heterozygous knock-in mice, p < 0.05). In muscle tissue from these mice, failure of the truncated mutant to bind glycogen and colocalize with glycogen synthase (GS) decreased GS and increased glycogen phosphorylase activity states, which account for the decreased glycogen content.
Conclusions
Thus, PPP1R3A C1984ΔAG (stop codon 668) is, to our knowledge, the first prevalent mutation described that directly impairs glycogen synthesis and decreases glycogen levels in human skeletal muscle. The fact that it is present in ∼1 in 70 UK whites increases the potential biomedical relevance of these observations.
Stephen O'Rahilly and colleagues describe the effect of a mutation inPPP1R3A, present in 1.36% of participants from one UK population, that directly impairs glycogen synthesis and decreases glycogen levels in human skeletal muscle.
Editors' Summary
Background.
The human body gets the energy it needs for day-to-day living from food in a process called metabolism. However, not all the energy released by metabolism is used immediately. Some is stored in skeletal muscles as glycogen, a glucose polymer that is used during high intensity exercise. After eating, chemicals in the digestive system release glucose (a type of sugar) from food into the bloodstream where it triggers insulin release from the pancreas. Insulin instructs muscle, liver and fat cells to remove glucose from the bloodstream to keep the amount of sugar in the blood at a safe level. The cells use the glucose immediately as fuel or convert it into glycogen or fat for storage. Glycogen turnover (the depletion and replacement of glycogen stores) is tightly controlled by glycogen synthase and glycogen phosphorylase, enzymes that make and destroy glycogen, respectively. A third enzyme called protein phosphatase 1 promotes net glycogen synthesis by activating glycogen synthase and inactivating glycogen phosphorylase. The activity of protein phosphatase 1 is regulated by a family of “targeting subunits.” In muscle, one of these targeting subunits, called RGL, facilitates protein phosphatase 1 action on glycogen synthase and glycogen phosphorylase.
Why Was This Study Done?
Several known human genetic disorders affect the breakdown of muscle glycogen but few genetic changes (mutations) have been found that decrease the synthesis of muscle glycogen. Researchers are interested in discovering mutations that affect glycogen turnover and other aspects of metabolism because some of these may be involved in the development of diabetes, an important metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar levels. In this study, the researchers have investigated how a recently identified mutation in PPP1R3A, the gene that encodes RGL, affects glycogen synthesis. This mutation—PPP1R3A FS—was previously found in 1.36% of a UK white population. It causes the production of a short version of RGL that lacks the part of the molecule that tethers RGL to a cellular structure called the sarcoplasmic reticulum but leaves its glycogen binding domain intact.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
To confirm that PPP1R3A FS is a common mutation in the UK white population, the researchers sequenced the gene in 744 healthy adults enrolled in the Oxford Biobank (which hopes to uncover metabolically important genetic variations by monitoring the health of a large number of 30- to 50-year-old people from whom DNA has been collected). 1.46% of these people had the PPP1R3A FS mutation. To examine glycogen storage in carriers of the mutation, the researchers used a technique called in vivo 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Basal muscle glycogen levels and those reached after a meal were lower in these individuals than in people without the mutation but their blood sugar and insulin levels were normal. Finally, to examine how the mutation reduces muscle glycogen, the researchers made mice carrying the PPP1R3A FS mutation. Like the human carriers, these mice had less glycogen than normal in their muscles. Unexpectedly, in biochemical experiments the truncated RGL protein made by the mutant mice did not bind to glycogen or co-localize with glycogen synthase. This lack of binding decreased the activity of glycogen synthase and increased the activity of glycogen phosphorylase, thus decreasing muscle glycogen.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings identify the PPP1R3A FS mutation as the first prevalent mutation known to impair glycogen synthesis and to decrease glycogen levels in human skeletal muscles. They also confirm that this mutation is very common in UK whites. Although these human carriers do not report any exercise intolerance, detailed studies are needed to test whether the mutation has any effect on skeletal muscle performance. In addition, suggest the researchers, the mutation might be involved in the development of type 2 diabetes. Impaired insulin-stimulated glycogen synthesis, which is a feature of insulin-resistant muscle and liver cells, is thought to be a key event in the development of type 2 diabetes. Although some previous results indicate that the PPP1R3A FS mutations can sometimes predispose people to develop insulin resistance, only a large population-based study in multiple ethnic groups will reveal whether the PPP1R3A FS mutation has an important impact on the development of type 2 diabetes.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050027.
Wikipedia has pages on metabolism and on glycogen (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia provides information about diabetes (in English and Spanish)
The UK Biobank is looking for genetic variations among human populations that are associated with metabolic and other disorders
Web sites are available with brief descriptions of the research programs of Stephen O'Rahilly and Anna DePaoli-Roach
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050027
PMCID: PMC2214798  PMID: 18232732
2.  Fasting-Induced Protein Phosphatase 1 Regulatory Subunit Contributes to Postprandial Blood Glucose Homeostasis via Regulation of Hepatic Glycogenesis 
Diabetes  2011;60(5):1435-1445.
OBJECTIVE
Most animals experience fasting–feeding cycles throughout their lives. It is well known that the liver plays a central role in regulating glycogen metabolism. However, how hepatic glycogenesis is coordinated with the fasting–feeding cycle to control postprandial glucose homeostasis remains largely unknown. This study determines the molecular mechanism underlying the coupling of hepatic glycogenesis with the fasting–feeding cycle.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Through a series of molecular, cellular, and animal studies, we investigated how PPP1R3G, a glycogen-targeting regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 1 (PP1), is implicated in regulating hepatic glycogenesis and glucose homeostasis in a manner tightly orchestrated with the fasting–feeding cycle.
RESULTS
PPP1R3G in the liver is upregulated during fasting and downregulated after feeding. PPP1R3G associates with glycogen pellet, interacts with the catalytic subunit of PP1, and regulates glycogen synthase (GS) activity. Fasting glucose level is reduced when PPP1R3G is overexpressed in the liver. Hepatic knockdown of PPP1R3G reduces postprandial elevation of GS activity, decreases postprandial accumulation of liver glycogen, and decelerates postprandial clearance of blood glucose. Other glycogen-targeting regulatory subunits of PP1, such as PPP1R3B, PPP1R3C, and PPP1R3D, are downregulated by fasting and increased by feeding in the liver.
CONCLUSIONS
We propose that the opposite expression pattern of PPP1R3G versus other PP1 regulatory subunits comprise an intricate regulatory machinery to control hepatic glycogenesis during the fasting–feeding cycle. Because of its unique expression pattern, PPP1R3G plays a major role to control postprandial glucose homeostasis during the fasting–feeding transition via its regulation on liver glycogenesis.
doi:10.2337/db10-1663
PMCID: PMC3292316  PMID: 21471512
3.  Activation of direct and indirect pathways of glycogen synthesis by hepatic overexpression of protein targeting to glycogen 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2000;105(4):479-488.
Glycogen-targeting subunits of protein phosphatase-1, such as protein targeting to glycogen (PTG), direct the phosphatase to the glycogen particle, where it stimulates glycogenesis. We have investigated the metabolic impact of overexpressing PTG in liver of normal rats. After administration of PTG cDNA in a recombinant adenovirus, animals were fasted or allowed to continue feeding for 24 hours. Liver glycogen was nearly completely depleted in fasted control animals, whereas glycogen levels in fasted or fed PTG-overexpressing animals were 70% higher than in fed controls. Nevertheless, transgenic animals regulated plasma glucose, triglycerides, FFAs, ketones, and insulin normally in the fasted and fed states. Fasted PTG-overexpressing animals receiving an oral bolus of [U-13C]glucose exhibited a large increase in hepatic glycogen content and a 70% increase in incorporation of [13C]glucose into glycogen. However, incorporation of labeled glucose accounted for only a small portion of the glycogen synthesized in PTG-overexpressing animals, consistent with our earlier finding that PTG promotes glycogen synthesis from gluconeogenic precursors. We conclude that hepatic PTG overexpression activates both direct and indirect pathways of glycogen synthesis. Because of its ability to enhance glucose storage without affecting other metabolic indicators, the glycogen-targeting subunit may prove valuable in controlling blood glucose levels in diabetes.
PMCID: PMC289167  PMID: 10683377
4.  The 3T3-L1 adipocyte glycogen proteome 
Proteome Science  2013;11:11.
Background
Glycogen is a branched polysaccharide of glucose residues, consisting of α-1-4 glycosidic linkages with α-1-6 branches that together form multi-layered particles ranging in size from 30 nm to 300 nm. Glycogen spatial conformation and intracellular organization are highly regulated processes. Glycogen particles interact with their metabolizing enzymes and are associated with a variety of proteins that intervene in its biology, controlling its structure, particle size and sub-cellular distribution. The function of glycogen in adipose tissue is not well understood but appears to have a pivotal role as a regulatory mechanism informing the cells on substrate availability for triacylglycerol synthesis. To provide new molecular insights into the role of adipocyte glycogen we analyzed the glycogen-associated proteome from differentiated 3T3-L1-adipocytes.
Results
Glycogen particles from 3T3-L1-adipocytes were purified using a series of centrifugation steps followed by specific elution of glycogen bound proteins using α-1,4 glucose oligosaccharides, or maltodextrins, and tandem mass spectrometry. We identified regulatory proteins, 14-3-3 proteins, RACK1 and protein phosphatase 1 glycogen targeting subunit 3D. Evidence was also obtained for a regulated subcellular distribution of the glycogen particle: metabolic and mitochondrial proteins were abundant. Unlike the recently analyzed hepatic glycogen proteome, no endoplasmic proteins were detected, along with the recently described starch-binding domain protein 1. Other regulatory proteins which have previously been described as glycogen-associated proteins were not detected, including laforin, the AMPK beta-subunit and protein targeting to glycogen (PTG).
Conclusions
These data provide new molecular insights into the regulation of glycogen-bound proteins that are associated with the maintenance, organization and localization of the adipocyte glycogen particle.
doi:10.1186/1477-5956-11-11
PMCID: PMC3622581  PMID: 23521774
Glycogen; Glycogen-associated proteins; 3T3-L1 adipocytes; Proteomics; 14-3-3 proteins; Protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 3D
5.  A PTG Variant Contributes to a Milder Phenotype in Lafora Disease 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e21294.
Lafora disease is an autosomal recessive form of progressive myoclonus epilepsy with no effective therapy. Although the outcome is always unfavorable, onset of symptoms and progression of the disease may vary. We aimed to identify modifier genes that may contribute to the clinical course of Lafora disease patients with EPM2A or EPM2B mutations. We established a list of 43 genes coding for proteins related to laforin/malin function and/or glycogen metabolism and tested common polymorphisms for possible associations with phenotypic differences using a collection of Lafora disease families. Genotype and haplotype analysis showed that PPP1R3C may be associated with a slow progression of the disease. The PPP1R3C gene encodes protein targeting to glycogen (PTG). Glycogen targeting subunits play a major role in recruiting type 1 protein phosphatase (PP1) to glycogen-enriched cell compartments and in increasing the specific activity of PP1 toward specific glycogenic substrates (glycogen synthase and glycogen phosphorylase). Here, we report a new mutation (c.746A>G, N249S) in the PPP1R3C gene that results in a decreased capacity to induce glycogen synthesis and a reduced interaction with glycogen phosphorylase and laforin, supporting a key role of this mutation in the glycogenic activity of PTG. This variant was found in one of two affected siblings of a Lafora disease family characterized by a remarkable mild course. Our findings suggest that variations in PTG may condition the course of Lafora disease and establish PTG as a potential target for pharmacogenetic and therapeutic approaches.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021294
PMCID: PMC3127956  PMID: 21738631
6.  Protein Phosphatase 3 Differentially Modulates Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor- and Fibroblast Growth Factor 2-Stimulated Cell Proliferation and Signaling in Ovine Fetoplacental Artery Endothelial Cells1 
Biology of reproduction  2008;79(4):704-710.
A critical process for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)- and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2)-regulated cellular function is reversible protein phosphorylation, which is tightly controlled by a balance of protein kinases and phosphatases. We have reported that in ovine fetoplacental artery endothelial (OFPAE) cells, VEGF and FGF2 stimulate cell proliferation partially via activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1/2 (MAP2K1/2)/mitogen-activated protein kinase 3/1 (MAPK3/1) and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogen homolog 1 (AKT1) pathways. In this study, we examined if protein phosphatase 3 (PPP3) mediated VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated OFPAE cell proliferation via modulating activation of MAPK3/1 and AKT1. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting human PPP3 catalytic subunit α (PPP3CA) was used to suppress PPP3CA protein expression in OFPAE cells. As compared with the scrambled siRNA, PPP3CA siRNA decreased PPP3CA protein levels by ~ 97% without altering protein levels of protein phosphatase 2 (PPP2) catalytic subunit α (PPP2CA), total MAPK3/1, total AKT1, or glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). Knockdown of PPP3CA protein expression enhanced VEGF-, but not FGF2-stimulated cell proliferation. Knockdown of PPP3CA protein expression did not significantly affect VEGF-induced MAPK3/1 and AKT1 phosphorylation, while attenuated FGF2-induced MAPK3/1 and AKT1 phosphorylation. Thus, this is the first report demonstrating successful knockdown of PPP3CA protein expression in any cell model using a single pair of double-strained siRNA. Moreover, specific knockdown of PPP3CA protein expression enhances VEGF-, but not FGF2-stimulated OFPAE cell proliferation and attenuates FGF2-, but not VEGF-induced MAPK3/1 and AKT1 activation. Thus, PPP3CA differentially modulates the VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated cell proliferation and signaling cascades in OFPAE cells. These data also suggest that signaling molecules other than MAPK3/1 and AKT1 play an important role in VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated cell proliferation after knockdown of PPP3CA in OFPAE cells.
doi:10.1095/biolreprod.108.068957
PMCID: PMC2574765  PMID: 18509162
Placental endothelial cells; VEGF; FGF2; PPP3; MAPK3/1; AKT1; cell proliferation
7.  Protein Phosphatase 3 Differentially Modulates Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor- and Fibroblast Growth Factor 2-Stimulated Cell Proliferation and Signaling in Ovine Fetoplacental Artery Endothelial Cells1 
Biology of Reproduction  2008;79(4):704-710.
A critical process for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)- and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2)-regulated cellular function is reversible protein phosphorylation, which is tightly controlled by a balance of protein kinases and phosphatases. We have reported that in ovine fetoplacental artery endothelial (OFPAE) cells, VEGF and FGF2 stimulate cell proliferation in part via activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1/2 (MAP2K1/2)/mitogen-activated protein kinase 3/1 (MAPK3/1) and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 1 (AKT1) pathways. In the present study, we examined if protein phosphatase 3 (PPP3) mediated VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated OFPAE cell proliferation via modulating activation of MAPK3/1 and AKT1. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting human PPP3 catalytic subunit alpha (PPP3CA) was used to suppress PPP3CA protein expression in OFPAE cells. Compared with the scrambled siRNA, PPP3CA siRNA decreased PPP3CA protein levels by approximately 97% without altering protein levels of protein phosphatase 2 catalytic subunit alpha, total MAPK3/1, total AKT1, or glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. Knockdown of PPP3CA protein expression enhanced VEGF-stimulated, but not FGF2-stimulated, cell proliferation. Knockdown of PPP3CA protein expression did not significantly affect VEGF-induced MAPK3/1 and AKT1 phosphorylation but attenuated FGF2-induced MAPK3/1 and AKT1 phosphorylation. Thus, to our knowledge, the present study is the first to demonstrate successful knockdown of PPP3CA protein expression in any cell model using a single pair of double-strained siRNA. Moreover, specific knockdown of PPP3CA protein expression enhances VEGF-stimulated, but not FGF2-stimulated, OFPAE cell proliferation and attenuates FGF2-induced, but not VEGF-induced, MAPK3/1 and AKT1 activation. Thus, PPP3CA differentially modulates the VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated cell proliferation and signaling cascades in OFPAE cells. These data also suggest that signaling molecules other than MAPK3/1 and AKT1 play an important role in VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated cell proliferation after knockdown of PPP3CA in OFPAE cells.
PPP3 mediates the VEGF-stimulated placental endothelial cell proliferation
doi:10.1095/biolreprod.108.068957
PMCID: PMC2574765  PMID: 18509162
AKT1; cell proliferation; FGF2; growth factors; kinases; MAPK3/1; phosphatases; placenta; placental endothelial cells; PPP3; pregnancy; VEGF
8.  Central Role for Protein Targeting to Glycogen in the Maintenance of Cellular Glycogen Stores in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;26(1):334-342.
Overexpression of the protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) subunit protein targeting to glycogen (PTG) markedly enhances cellular glycogen levels. In order to disrupt the endogenous PTG-PP1 complex, small interfering RNA (siRNA) constructs against PTG were identified. Infection of 3T3-L1 adipocytes with PTG siRNA adenovirus decreased PTG mRNA and protein levels by >90%. In parallel, PTG reduction resulted in a >85% decrease in glycogen levels 4 days after infection, supporting a critical role for PTG in glycogen metabolism. Total PP1, glycogen synthase, and GLUT4 levels, as well as insulin-stimulated signaling cascades, were unaffected. However, PTG knockdown reduced glycogen-targeted PP1 protein levels, corresponding to decreased cellular glycogen synthase- and phosphorylase-directed PP1 activity. Interestingly, GLUT1 levels and acute insulin-stimulated glycogen synthesis rates were increased two- to threefold, and glycogen synthase activation in the presence of extracellular glucose was maintained. In contrast, glycogenolysis rates were markedly increased, suggesting that PTG primarily acts to suppress glycogen breakdown. Cumulatively, these data indicate that disruption of PTG expression resulted in the uncoupling of PP1 activity from glycogen metabolizing enzymes, the enhancement of glycogenolysis, and a dramatic decrease in cellular glycogen levels. Further, they suggest that reduction of glycogen stores induced cellular compensation by several mechanisms, but ultimately these changes could not overcome the loss of PTG expression.
doi:10.1128/MCB.26.1.334-342.2006
PMCID: PMC1317620  PMID: 16354703
9.  Site-Specific Phosphorylation of Protein Phosphatase 1 Regulatory Subunit 12A Stimulated or Suppressed by Insulin 
Journal of Proteomics  2012;75(11):3342-3350.
Protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) is one of the major phosphatases responsible for protein dephosphorylation in eukaryotes. So far, only few specific phosphorylation sites of PP1 regulatory subunit 12A (PPP1R12A) have been shown to regulate the PP1 activity. The effect of insulin on PPP1R12A phosphorylation is largely unknown. Utilizing a mass spectrometry based phosphorylation identification and quantification approach, we identified 21 PPP1R12A phosphorylation sites (7 novel sites, including Ser20, Thr22, Thr453, Ser478, Thr671, Ser678, and Ser680) and quantified 16 of them under basal and insulin stimulated conditions in hamster ovary cells overexpressing the insulin receptor (CHO/IR), an insulin sensitive cell model. Insulin stimulated the phosphorylation of PPP1R12A significantly at Ser477, Ser478, Ser507, Ser668, and Ser695, while simultaneously suppressing the phosphorylation of PPP1R12A at Ser509 (more than 2-fold increase or decrease compared to basal). Our data demonstrate that PPP1R12A undergoes insulin stimulated/suppressed phosphorylation, suggesting that PPP1R12A phosphorylation may play a role in insulin signal transduction. The novel PPP1R12A phosphorylation sites as well as the new insulin-responsive phosphorylation sites of PPP1R12A in CHO/IR cells provides targets for investigation of the regulation of PPP1R12A and the PPP1R12A-PP1cδ complex in insulin action and other signaling pathways in other cell models, animal models, and humans.
doi:10.1016/j.jprot.2012.03.043
PMCID: PMC3367048  PMID: 22516431
PPP1R12A; phosphorylation; HPLC-ESI-MS/MS; quantification
10.  Expression and distribution of PPP2R5C gene in leukemia 
Background
Recently, we clarified at the molecular level novel chromosomal translocation t(14;14)(q11;q32) in a case of Sézary syndrome, which caused a rearrangement from TRAJ7 to the PPP2R5C gene. PPP2R5C is one of the regulatory B subunits of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). It plays a crucial role in cell proliferation, differentiation, and transformation. To characterize the expression and distribution of five different transcript variants of the PPP2R5C gene in leukemia, we analyzed the expression level of PPP2R5C in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 77 patients with de novo leukemia, 26 patients with leukemia in complete remission (CR), and 20 healthy individuals by real-time PCR and identified the different variants of PPP2R5C by RT-PCR.
Findings
Significantly higher expression of PPP2R5C was found in AML, CML, T-ALL, and B-CLL groups in comparison with healthy controls. High expression of PPP2R5C was detected in the B-ALL group; however, no significant difference was found compared with the healthy group. The expression level of PPP2R5C in the CML-CR group decreased significantly compared with that in the de novo CML group and was not significantly different from the level in the healthy group. By using different primer pairs that covered different exons, five transcript variants of PPP2R5C could be identified. All variants could be detected in healthy samples as well as in all the leukemia samples, and similar frequencies and distributions of PPP2R5C were indicated.
Conclusions
Overexpression of PPP2R5C in T-cell malignancy as well as in myeloid leukemia cells might relate to its proliferation and differentiation. Investigation of the effect of target inhibition of this gene might be beneficial to further characterization of molecular mechanisms and targeted therapy in leukemia.
doi:10.1186/1756-8722-4-21
PMCID: PMC3117819  PMID: 21548944
PPP2R5C; leukemia; gene expression; transcript variant
11.  Suppression of Protein Phosphatase 2 Differentially Modulates VEGF- and FGF2-Induced Signaling in Ovine Fetoplacental Artery Endothelial Cells 
Placenta  2009;30(10):907-913.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) elicit cellular responses via activation of protein kinases and phosphatases. We have reported that the MEK1/2/ERK1/2 and PI3K/AKT1 pathways are critical for VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated ovine fetoplacental endothelial (OFPAE) cell proliferation. We have also shown that protein phosphatase 3 (PPP3) differentially modulates VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated cell proliferation and activation of ERK1/2 and AKT1 in OFPAE cells. Herein, we investigated if protein phosphatase 2 (PPP2) modulated VEGF- and FGF2-induced ERK1/2, AKT1, and p38 MAPK activation and VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated cell proliferation in OFPAE cells. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) specifically targeting human PPP2 catalytic subunit α (PPP2CA) was used to suppress PPP2CA expression in OFPAE cells. When compared with scrambled siRNA, PPP2CA siRNA decreased (p < 0.05) PPP2CA protein levels (∼ 70%) and activity (∼ 50%) without altering protein levels of PPP3 catalytic subunit α (PPP3CA), nitric oxide (NO) synthase 3 (NOS3), ERK1/2, AKT1, and p38 MAPK. FGF2, but not VEGF rapidly (≤ 5 min) induced p38 MAPK phosphorylation. Suppression of PPP2CA enhanced (p < 0.05) VEGF-induced AKT1, but not ERK1/2 phosphorylation, whereas inhibited (p < 0.05) FGF2-induced ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK and slightly attenuated FGF2-induced AKT1 phosphorylation. Suppression of PPP2CA did not significantly affect VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated OFPAE cell proliferation. Thus, suppression of PPP2CA alone differentially modulated VEGF- and FGF2-induced ERK1/2, AKT1, and p38 MAPK activation, without altering VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated cell proliferation in OFPAE cells. These data also suggest that signaling molecules other than ERK1/2, AKT1, and p38 MAPK are important mediators for VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated OFPAE cell proliferation after PPP2CA suppression.
doi:10.1016/j.placenta.2009.07.003
PMCID: PMC2748137  PMID: 19692121
Endothelial cell; signaling transduction; placenta
12.  Identification and characterization of two distinct PPP1R2 isoforms in human spermatozoa 
BMC Cell Biology  2013;14:15.
Background
Protein Ser/Thr Phosphatase PPP1CC2 is an alternatively spliced isoform of PPP1C that is highly enriched in testis and selectively expressed in sperm. Addition of the phosphatase inhibitor toxins okadaic acid or calyculin A to caput and caudal sperm triggers and stimulates motility, respectively. Thus, the endogenous mechanisms of phosphatase inhibition are fundamental for controlling sperm function and should be characterized. Preliminary results have shown a protein phosphatase inhibitor activity resembling PPP1R2 in bovine and primate spermatozoa.
Results
Here we show conclusively, for the first time, that PPP1R2 is present in sperm. In addition, we have also identified a novel protein, PPP1R2P3. The latter was previously thought to be an intron-less pseudogene. We show that the protein corresponding to the pseudogene is expressed. It has PPP1 inhibitory potency similar to PPP1R2. The potential phosphosites in PPP1R2 are substituted by non-phosphorylable residues, T73P and S87R, in PPP1R2P3. We also confirm that PPP1R2/PPP1R2P3 are phosphorylated at Ser121 and Ser122, and report a novel phosphorylation site, Ser127. Subfractionation of sperm structures show that PPP1CC2, PPP1R2/PPP1R2P3 are located in the head and tail structures.
Conclusions
The conclusive identification and localization of sperm PPP1R2 and PPP1R2P3 lays the basis for future studies on their roles in acrosome reaction, sperm motility and hyperactivation. An intriguing possibility is that a switch in PPP1CC2 inhibitory subunits could be the trigger for sperm motility in the epididymis and/or sperm hyperactivation in the female reproductive tract.
doi:10.1186/1471-2121-14-15
PMCID: PMC3606321  PMID: 23506001
PP1; Phosphorylation; PP1 interacting protein; PPP1R2; PPP1R2P3; Pseudogene
13.  Significant Expression Levels of Transgenic PPP1CC2 in Testis and Sperm Are Required to Overcome the Male Infertility Phenotype of Ppp1cc Null Mice 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47623.
PPP1CC2, one of four isoforms of the ser/thr protein phosphatase PP1, is a mammalian-specific splice variant of the Ppp1cc gene, and the only isoform whose expression is confined almost completely to spermatogenic cells. Additionally, PPP1CC2 is the sole isoform found in mammalian spermatozoa. Although PPP1CC1, the other Ppp1cc product, is expressed in many tissues including testis, the only phenotype resulting from deletion of Ppp1cc gene is male infertility. To determine which of the products of Ppp1cc is essential for male fertility, we created two PPP1CC2 transgenes, eTg-G2 and pTg-G2, where Ppp1cc2 expression was driven by the putative endogenous promoter of Ppp1cc or by the testis specific human Pgk2 promoter, respectively. Our results demonstrate that the 2.6-kb genomic region directly upstream of the Ppp1cc structural gene can drive expression of Ppp1cc2, and recapitulate the wild-type tissue specificity of PPP1CC2 in transgenic mice. More importantly, we show that expression of PPP1CC2 alone, via either promoter, is able not only to restore normal spermatogenesis, but the fertility of Ppp1cc null mice as well, provided that transgenic PPP1CC2 expression in testis reaches at least a lower threshold level equivalent to approximately 50% of its expression by a Ppp1cc +/− male. We conclude that the endogenous Ppp1cc promoter normally functions in the testis to maintain a sufficient level of PPP1CC2 expression for normal spermatogenesis to occur, and that production of spermatozoa capable of fertilization in vivo can take place in the complete absence of PPP1CC1 expression.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047623
PMCID: PMC3474748  PMID: 23082183
14.  Malin decreases glycogen accumulation by promoting the degradation of protein targeting to glycogen (PTG) 
The Journal of biological chemistry  2007;283(7):4069-4076.
Lafora disease (LD) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease that results in progressive myoclonus epilepsy and death. LD is caused by mutations in either the E3 ubiquitin ligase malin or the dual-specificity phosphatase laforin. A hallmark of LD is the accumulation of insoluble glycogen in the cytoplasm of cells from most tissues. Glycogen metabolism is regulated by phosphorylation of key metabolic enzymes. One regulator of this phosphorylation is protein targeting to glycogen (PTG/R5), a scaffold protein that binds both glycogen and many of the enzymes involved in glycogen synthesis, including protein phosphatase 1 (PP1), glycogen synthase, phosphorylase, and laforin. Overexpression of PTG markedly increases glycogen accumulation, and decreased PTG expression decreases glycogen stores. To investigate if malin and laforin play a role in glycogen metabolism, we overexpressed PTG, malin, and laforin in tissue culture cells. We found that expression of malin or laforin decreased PTG-stimulated glycogen accumulation by 25%, and co-expression of malin and laforin abolished PTG-stimulated glycogen accumulation. Consistent with this result, we found that malin ubiquitinates PTG in a laforin-dependent manner, both in vivo and in vitro, and targets PTG for proteasome-dependent degradation. These results suggest an additional mechanism, involving laforin and malin, in regulating glycogen metabolism.
doi:10.1074/jbc.M708712200
PMCID: PMC2251628  PMID: 18070875
15.  Muscle-Specific Deletion of the Glut4 Glucose Transporter Alters Multiple Regulatory Steps in Glycogen Metabolism 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2005;25(21):9713-9723.
Mice with muscle-specific knockout of the Glut4 glucose transporter (muscle-G4KO) are insulin resistant and mildly diabetic. Here we show that despite markedly reduced glucose transport in muscle, muscle glycogen content in the fasted state is increased. We sought to determine the mechanism(s). Basal glycogen synthase activity is increased by 34% and glycogen phosphorylase activity is decreased by 17% (P < 0.05) in muscle of muscle-G4KO mice. Contraction-induced glycogen breakdown is normal. The increased glycogen synthase activity occurs in spite of decreased signaling through the insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1)-phosphoinositide (PI) 3-kinase-Akt pathway and increased glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) activity in the basal state. Hexokinase II is increased, leading to an approximately twofold increase in glucose-6-phosphate levels. In addition, the levels of two scaffolding proteins that are glycogen-targeting subunits of protein phosphatase 1 (PP1), the muscle-specific regulatory subunit (RGL) and the protein targeting to glycogen (PTG), are strikingly increased by 3.2- to 4.2-fold in muscle of muscle-G4KO mice compared to wild-type mice. The catalytic activity of PP1, which dephosphorylates and activates glycogen synthase, is also increased. This dominates over the GSK3 effects, since glycogen synthase phosphorylation on the GSK3-regulated site is decreased. Thus, the markedly reduced glucose transport in muscle results in increased glycogen synthase activity due to increased hexokinase II, glucose-6-phosphate, and RGL and PTG levels and enhanced PP1 activity. This, combined with decreased glycogen phosphorylase activity, results in increased glycogen content in muscle in the fasted state when glucose transport is reduced.
doi:10.1128/MCB.25.21.9713-9723.2005
PMCID: PMC1265843  PMID: 16227617
16.  PTG gene deletion causes impaired glycogen synthesis and developmental insulin resistance 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2003;111(9):1423-1432.
Protein targeting to glycogen (PTG) is a scaffolding protein that targets protein phosphatase 1α (PP1α) to glycogen, and links it to enzymes involved in glycogen synthesis and degradation. We generated mice that possess a heterozygous deletion of the PTG gene. These mice have reduced glycogen stores in adipose tissue, liver, heart, and skeletal muscle, corresponding with decreased glycogen synthase activity and glycogen synthesis rate. Although young PTG heterozygous mice initially demonstrate normal glucose tolerance, progressive glucose intolerance, hyperinsulinemia, and insulin resistance develop with aging. Insulin resistance in older PTG heterozygous mice correlates with a significant increase in muscle triglyceride content, with a corresponding attenuation of insulin receptor signaling. These data suggest that PTG plays a critical role in glycogen synthesis and is necessary to maintain the appropriate metabolic balance for the partitioning of fuel substrates between glycogen and lipid.
doi:10.1172/JCI200317975
PMCID: PMC154451  PMID: 12727934
17.  Identification and Functional Analysis of Variant Haplotypes in the 5′-Flanking Region of Protein Phosphatase 2A-Bδ Gene 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35524.
Serine-threonine protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a trimeric holoenzyme that plays an integral role in the regulation of cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. The substrate specificity and (sub)cellular localization of the PP2A holoenzymes are highly regulated by interaction with a family of regulatory B subunits (PP2A-Bs). The regulatory subunit PP2A-B/PR55δ (PP2A-Bδ) is involving in the dephosphorylation of PP2A substrates and is crucial for controlling entry into and exit from mitosis. The molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of expression of PP2A-Bδ gene (PPP2R2D) remain largely unknown. To explore genetic variations in the 5′-flanking region of PPP2R2D gene as well as their frequent haplotypes in the Han Chinese population and determine whether such variations have an impact on transcriptional activity, DNA samples were collected from 70 healthy Chinese donors and sequenced for identifying genetic variants in the 5′-flanking region of PPP2R2D. Four genetic variants were identified in the 1836 bp 5′-flanking region of PPP2R2D. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) patterns and haplotype profiles were constructed for the genetic variants. Using serially truncated human PPP2R2D promoter luciferase constructs, we found that a 601 bp (−540 nt to +61 nt) fragment constitutes the core promoter region. The subcloning of individual 5′-flanking fragment revealed the existence of three haplotypes in the distal promoter of PPP2R2D. The luciferase reporter assay showed that different haplotypes exhibited distinct promoter activities. The EMSA revealed that the −462 G>A variant influences DNA-protein interactions involving the nuclear factor 1 (NF1). In vitro reporter gene assay indicated that cotransfection of NF1/B expression plasmid could positively regulate the activity of PPP2R2D proximal promoter. Introduction of exogenous NF1/B expression plasmid further confirmed that the NF1 involves in the regulation of PPP2R2D gene expression. Our findings suggest that functional genetic variants and their haplotypes in the 5′-flanking region of PPP2R2D are critical for transcriptional regulation of PP2A-Bδ.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035524
PMCID: PMC3335092  PMID: 22539979
18.  Insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 12B revealed by HPLC-ESI-MS/MS 
Proteome Science  2012;10:52.
Background
Protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) is one of the major phosphatases responsible for protein dephosphorylation in eukaryotes. Protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 12B (PPP1R12B), one of the regulatory subunits of PP1, can bind to PP1cδ, one of the catalytic subunits of PP1, and modulate the specificity and activity of PP1cδ against its substrates. Phosphorylation of PPP1R12B on threonine 646 by Rho kinase inhibits the activity of the PP1c-PPP1R12B complex. However, it is not currently known whether PPP1R12B phosphorylation at threonine 646 and other sites is regulated by insulin. We set out to identify phosphorylation sites in PPP1R12B and to quantify the effect of insulin on PPP1R12B phosphorylation by using high-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry.
Results
14 PPP1R12B phosphorylation sites were identified, 7 of which were previously unreported. Potential kinases were predicted for these sites. Furthermore, relative quantification of PPP1R12B phosphorylation sites for basal and insulin-treated samples was obtained by using peak area-based label-free mass spectrometry of fragment ions. The results indicate that insulin stimulates the phosphorylation of PPP1R12B significantly at serine 29 (3.02 ± 0.94 fold), serine 504 (11.67 ± 3.33 fold), and serine 645/threonine 646 (2.34 ± 0.58 fold).
Conclusion
PPP1R12B was identified as a phosphatase subunit that undergoes insulin-stimulated phosphorylation, suggesting that PPP1R12B might play a role in insulin signaling. This study also identified novel targets for future investigation of the regulation of PPP1R12B not only in insulin signaling in cell models, animal models, and in humans, but also in other signaling pathways.
doi:10.1186/1477-5956-10-52
PMCID: PMC3546068  PMID: 22937917
PPP1R12B; Phosphorylation; HPLC-ESI-MS/MS; Insulin signaling; Label-free; Quantification
19.  Enforced Expression of PPP1R13L Increases Tumorigenesis and Invasion Through p53-Dependent and p53-Independent Mechanisms 
Molecular carcinogenesis  2009;48(9):832-842.
PPP1R13L was initially identified as a protein that binds to the NF-κB subunit p65/RelA and inhibits its transcriptional activity. It also binds p53 and inhibits its action. One set of experimental findings based on overexpression of PPP1R13L indicates that PPP1R13L blocks apoptosis. Another set of experiments, based on endogenous production of PPP1R13L, suggests that the protein may sometimes be pro-apoptotic. We have used primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), dually transformed by HRAS and adenovirus E1A and differing in their p53 status, to explore the effects of PPP1R13L overexpression, thus examining the ability of PPP1R13L to act as an oncoprotein. We found that overexpression of PPP1R13L strongly accelerated tumor formation by RAS/E1A. PPP1R13L overexpressing cells were depleted for both p53 and active p65/RelA and we found that both p53-dependent and -independent apoptosis pathways were modulated by PPP1R13L. Finally, studies with the proteasome inhibitor MG132 revealed that overexpression of PPP1R13L causes faster p53 degradation, a likely explanation for the depletion of p53. Taken together, our results show that increased levels of PPP1R13L can increase tumorigenesis and furthermore suggest that PPP1R13L can influence metastasis.
doi:10.1002/mc.20528
PMCID: PMC3328301  PMID: 19263435
PPP1R13L gene; malignant transformation; tumorigenesis; tumor cell migration; tumor suppressor p53
20.  Exercise Training-Induced Adaptations Associated with Increases in Skeletal Muscle Glycogen Content 
The FEBS journal  2013;280(3):916-926.
Chronic exercise training results in numerous skeletal muscle adaptations, including increases in insulin sensitivity and glycogen content. To understand the mechanism for increased muscle glycogen, we studied the effects of exercise training on glycogen regulatory proteins in rat skeletal muscle. Female Sprague Dawley rats performed voluntary wheel running for 1, 4, or 7 weeks. After 7 weeks of training, insulin-stimulated glucose uptake was increased in epitrochlearis muscle. Compared to sedentary control rats, muscle glycogen did not change after 1 week of training, but increased significantly after 4 and 7 weeks. The increases in muscle glycogen were accompanied by elevated glycogen synthase activity and protein expression. To assess the regulation of glycogen synthase, we examined its major activator, protein phosphatase 1 (PP1), and its major deactivator, glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3). Consistent with glycogen synthase activity, PP1 activity was unchanged after 1 week of training but significantly increased after 4 and 7 weeks of training. Protein expression of RGL(GM), another regulatory PP1 subunit, significantly decreased after 4 and 7 weeks of training. Unlike PP1, GSK3 phosphorylation did not follow the pattern of glycogen synthase activity. The ~40% decrease in GSK-3α phosphorylation after 1 week of exercise training persisted until 7 weeks and may function as a negative feedback to elevated glycogen. Our findings suggest that exercise training-induced increases in muscle glycogen content could be regulated by multiple mechanisms including enhanced insulin sensitivity, glycogen synthase expression, allosteric activation of glycogen synthase and PP1activity.
doi:10.1111/febs.12085
PMCID: PMC3558638  PMID: 23206309
exercise; skeletal muscle; glycogen synthase; GSK-3; rat
21.  Subcellular Localization of Hexokinases I and II Directs the Metabolic Fate of Glucose 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(3):e17674.
Background
The first step in glucose metabolism is conversion of glucose to glucose 6-phosphate (G-6-P) by hexokinases (HKs), a family with 4 isoforms. The two most common isoforms, HKI and HKII, have overlapping tissue expression, but different subcellular distributions, with HKI associated mainly with mitochondria and HKII associated with both mitochondrial and cytoplasmic compartments. Here we tested the hypothesis that these different subcellular distributions are associated with different metabolic roles, with mitochondrially-bound HK's channeling G-6-P towards glycolysis (catabolic use), and cytoplasmic HKII regulating glycogen formation (anabolic use).
Methodology/Principal Findings
To study subcellular translocation of HKs in living cells, we expressed HKI and HKII linked to YFP in CHO cells. We concomitantly recorded the effects on glucose handling using the FRET based intracellular glucose biosensor, FLIPglu-600 mM, and glycogen formation using a glycogen-associated protein, PTG, tagged with GFP. Our results demonstrate that HKI remains strongly bound to mitochondria, whereas HKII translocates between mitochondria and the cytosol in response to glucose, G-6-P and Akt, but not ATP. Metabolic measurements suggest that HKI exclusively promotes glycolysis, whereas HKII has a more complex role, promoting glycolysis when bound to mitochondria and glycogen synthesis when located in the cytosol. Glycogen breakdown upon glucose removal leads to HKII inhibition and dissociation from mitochondria, probably mediated by increases in glycogen-derived G-6-P.
Conclusions/Significance
These findings show that the catabolic versus anabolic fate of glucose is dynamically regulated by extracellular glucose via signaling molecules such as intracellular glucose, G-6-P and Akt through regulation and subcellular translocation of HKII. In contrast, HKI, which activity and regulation is much less sensitive to these factors, is mainly committed to glycolysis. This may be an important mechanism by which HK's allow cells to adapt to changing metabolic conditions to maintain energy balance and avoid injury.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017674
PMCID: PMC3052386  PMID: 21408025
22.  Regulatory B Subunits of Protein Phosphatase 2A Are Involved in Site-specific Regulation of Tau Protein Phosphorylation 
Overexpression of amyloid precursor protein with the Swedish mutation causes abnormal hyperphosphorylation of the microtubule-associated protein tau. Hyperphosphorylated isoforms of tau are major components of neurofibrillary tangles, which are histopathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), a major tau protein phosphatase, consists of a structural A subunit, catalytic C subunit, and a variety of regulatory B subunits. The B subunits have been reported to modulate function of the PP2A holoenzyme by regulating substrate binding, enzyme activity, and subcellular localization. In the current study, we characterized regulatory B subunit-specific regulation of tau protein phosphorylation. We showed that the PP2A B subunit PPP2R2A mediated dephosphorylation of tau protein at Ser-199, Ser-202/Thr-205, Thr-231, Ser-262, and Ser-422. Down-regulation of PPP2R5D expression decreased tau phosphorylation at Ser-202/Thr-205, Thr-231, and Ser-422, which indicates activation of the tau kinase glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) by PP2A with PPP2R5D subunit. The level of activating phosphorylation of the GSK3β kinase Akt at Thr-308 and Ser-473 were both increased by PPP2R5D knockdown. We also characterized B subunit-specific phosphorylation sites in tau using mass spectrometric analysis. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry revealed that the phosphorylation status of the tau protein may be affected by PP2A, depending on the specific B subunits. These studies further our understanding of the function of various B subunits in mediating site-specific regulation of tau protein phosphorylation.
doi:10.4196/kjpp.2014.18.2.155
PMCID: PMC3994303  PMID: 24757378
Alzheimer's disease; Phosphorylation; Protein phosphatase 2A; Tau protein
23.  Evaluation of PPP2R2A as a prostate cancer susceptibility gene: comprehensive germline and somatic study 
Cancer genetics  2011;204(7):375-381.
PPP2R2A, mapped to 8p21.2, encodes for the α isoform of the regulatory B55 subfamily of the protein phosphatase 2 (PP2A). PP2A is one of the four major Ser/Thr phosphatases and is implicated in the negative control of cell growth and division. Because of its known functions and location within a chromosomal region where evidence for linkage and somatic loss of heterozygosity was found, we hypothesized that either somatic copy number changes or germline sequence variants in PPP2R2A may increase prostate cancer (PCa) risk. We examined PPP2R2A deletion status in 141 PCa samples using Affymetrix SNP arrays. It was found that PPP2R2A was commonly (67.1%) deleted in tumor samples including a homozygous deletion in 3 tumors (2.1%). We performed a mutation screen for PPP2R2A in 96 probands of hereditary prostate cancer (HPC) families. No high risk mutations were identified. Additionally, we reanalyzed 10 SNPs of PPP2R2A in sporadic PCa cases and controls. No significant differences in the allele and genotype frequencies were observed among either PCa cases and controls or PCa aggressive and non-aggressive cases. Taken together, these results suggest that a somatic deletion rather than germline sequence variants of PPP2R2A may play a more important role in PCa susceptibility.
doi:10.1016/j.cancergen.2011.05.002
PMCID: PMC3722858  PMID: 21872824
PPP2R2A; homozygous deletion; prostate cancer
24.  Mice lacking protein phosphatase 5 are defective in ATM-mediated cell cycle arrest 
The Journal of biological chemistry  2007;282(20):14690-14694.
Eukaryotic cells have evolved cell cycle checkpoints to maintain genomic stability and integrity. Protein phosphatase 5 (Ppp5), a tetratricopeptide repeat domain protein, has been implicated in multiple cellular functions, including cellular proliferation, migration, differentiation and survival, and cell cycle checkpoint regulation via the ATM/ATR signal pathway. However, the physiological functions of Ppp5 have not been reported. To confirm the role of Ppp5 in cell cycle checkpoint regulation, we generated Ppp5-deficient mice and isolated mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) cells from Ppp5-deficient and littermate control embryos. Although Ppp5-deficient mice can survive through embryonic development and postnatal life and MEF cells from the Ppp5-deficient mice maintain normal replication checkpoint induced by hydroxyurea, Ppp5-deficient MEF cells display a significant defect in G2/M DNA damage checkpoint in response to ionizing radiation (IR). To determine whether this defect in IR induced-G2/M checkpoint is due to altered ATM-mediated signaling, we measured ATM kinase activity and ATM-mediated downstream events. Our data demonstrated that IR-induced ATM kinase activity is attenuated in Ppp5-deficient MEFs. Phosphorylation levels of two known ATM substrates, Rad17 and Chk2, were significantly reduced in Ppp5-deficient MEFs in response to IR. Furthermore, DNA damage-induced Rad17 nuclear foci were dramatically reduced in Ppp5-deficient MEFs. These results demonstrate a direct regulatory linkage between Ppp5 and activation of the ATM-mediated G2/M DNA damage checkpoint pathway in vivo. Thus, the Ppp5 null mouse should now provide a useful animal model for further study of Ppp5 in checkpoint regulation.
doi:10.1074/jbc.C700019200
PMCID: PMC2577320  PMID: 17376776
25.  Widespread presence of "bacterial-like" PPP phosphatases in eukaryotes 
Background
In eukaryotes, PPP (protein phosphatase P) family is one of the two known protein phosphatase families specific for Ser and Thr. The role of PPP phosphatases in multiple signaling pathways in eukaryotic cell has been extensively studied. Unlike eukaryotic PPP phosphatases, bacterial members of the family have broad substrate specificity or may even be Tyr-specific. Moreover, one group of bacterial PPPs are diadenosine tetraphosphatases, indicating that bacterial PPP phosphatases may not necessarily function as protein phosphatases.
Results
We describe the presence in eukaryotes of three groups of expressed genes encoding "non-conventional" phosphatases of the PPP family. These enzymes are more closely related to bacterial PPP phosphatases than to the known eukaryotic members of the family. One group, found exclusively in land plants, is most closely related to PPP phosphatases from some α-Proteobacteria, including Rhizobiales, Rhodobacterales and Rhodospirillaceae. This group is therefore termed Rhizobiales / Rhodobacterales / Rhodospirillaceae-like phosphatases, or Rhilphs. Phosphatases of the other group are found in Viridiplantae, Rhodophyta, Trypanosomatidae, Plasmodium and some fungi. They are structurally related to phosphatases from psychrophilic bacteria Shewanella and Colwellia, and are termed Shewanella-like phosphatases, or Shelphs. Phosphatases of the third group are distantly related to ApaH, bacterial diadenosine tetraphosphatases, and are termed ApaH-like phosphatases, or Alphs. Patchy distribution of Alphs in animals, plants, fungi, diatoms and kinetoplasts suggests that these phosphatases were present in the common ancestor of eukaryotes but were independently lost in many lineages. Rhilphs, Shelphs and Alphs form PPP clades, as divergent from "conventional" eukaryotic PPP phosphatases as they are from each other and from major bacterial clades. In addition, comparison of primary structures revealed a previously unrecognised (I/L/V)D(S/T)G motif, conserved in all bacterial and "bacterial-like" eukaryotic PPPs, but not in "conventional" eukaryotic and archaeal PPPs.
Conclusions
Our findings demonstrate that many eukaryotes possess diverse "bacterial-like" PPP phosphatases, the enzymatic characteristics, physiological roles and precise evolutionary history of which have yet to be determined.
doi:10.1186/1471-2148-4-47
PMCID: PMC535813  PMID: 15555063

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