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Keywords:

  • animal model;
  • autoimmune disorders;
  • cancer;
  • diabetes;
  • oncogene;
  • post-translational modification;
  • protein phosphorylation;
  • signal transduction;
  • transgenic mice;
  • tumour suppressor

Some 40-odd genes in mammals encode phosphotyrosine-specific, ‘classical’ protein tyrosine phosphatases. The generation of animal model systems and the study of various human disease states have begun to elucidate the important and diverse roles of protein tyrosine phosphatases in cellular signalling pathways, development and disease. Here, we provide an overview of those findings from mice and men, and indicate several novel approaches that are now being exploited to further our knowledge of this fascinating enzyme family.