Researchers make important cell division discovery

Researchers at the University of Dundee have provided important new insights into the regulation of cell division, which may ultimately lead to a better understanding of cancer progression.

Researchers track down new biocatalysts

Phosphate is a key element in many processes in the body and essential for global food production. Researchers at the University of Göttingen have now developed a method to detect new enzymes from the environment that can ...

Soil phosphorus availability and lime: More than just pH?

Plants can't do without phosphorus. But there is often a 'withdrawal limit' on how much phosphorus they can get from the soil. That's because phosphorus in soils is often in forms that plants can't take up. That affects how ...

The 'yin and yang' of malaria parasite development

Scientists searching for new drug and vaccine targets to stop transmission of one of the world's deadliest diseases believe they are closer than ever to disrupting the life-cycle of this highly efficient parasite.

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A phosphatase is an enzyme that removes a phosphate group from its substrate by hydrolysing phosphoric acid monoesters into a phosphate ion and a molecule with a free hydroxyl group (see dephosphorylation). This action is directly opposite to that of phosphorylases and kinases, which attach phosphate groups to their substrates by using energetic molecules like ATP. A common phosphatase in many organisms is alkaline phosphatase.

Protein phosphorylation is the most common and important form of reversible protein posttranslational modification (PTM), with up to 30% of all proteins being phosphorylated at any given time. Protein kinases (PKs) are the effectors of phosphorylation and catalyse the transfer of a γ-phosphate from ATP to specific amino acids on proteins. Several hundred PKs exist in mammals and are classified into distinct super-families. Proteins are phosphorylated predominantly on Ser, Thr and Tyr residues, which account for 86, 12 and 2% respectively of the phosphoproteome, at least in mammals. In contrast, protein phosphatases (PPs) are the primary effectors of dephosphorylation and can be grouped into three main classes based on sequence, structure and catalytic function. The largest class of PPs is the phosphoprotein phosphatase (PPP) family comprising PP1, PP2A, PP2B, PP4, PP5, PP6 and PP7, and the protein phosphatase Mg2+- or Mn2+-dependent (PPM) family, composed primarily of PP2C. The protein Tyr phosphatase (PTP) super-family forms the second group, and the aspartate-based protein phosphatases the third.

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