Standard Article

Protein Phosphatases

  1. Matthew J Wishart1,
  2. Kun-Liang Guan2

Published Online: 3 MAY 2005

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0003472



How to Cite

Wishart, M. J. and Guan, K.-L. 2005. Protein Phosphatases. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of California, San Diego, California, USA

  2. 2

    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 MAY 2005


Eukaryotic protein phosphatases are generally classified according to substrate specificity and three-dimensional structure into two large groups: protein serine/threonine phosphatases, metalloproteins that dephosphorylate substrates via a single-step reaction involving a metal-activated water molecule, and protein tyrosine phosphatases, which contain an active-site cysteine thiolate that forms a phosphoenzyme intermediate prior to nucleophilic breakdown by an activated water.


  • phosphatase;
  • phosphorylation;
  • signalling;
  • phosphoserine;
  • phosphothreonine;
  • phosphotyrosine