Role of type 2C protein phosphatases in growth regulation and in cellular stress signaling

Twan Lammers, Sara Lavi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


A number of interesting features, phenotypes, and potential clinical applications have recently been ascribed to the type 2C family of protein phosphatases. Thus far, 16 different PP2C genes have been identified in the human genome, encoding (by means of alternative splicing) for at least 22 different isozymes. Virtually ever since their discovery, type 2C phosphatases have been predominantly linked to cell growth and to cellular stress signaling. Here, we provide an overview of the involvement of type 2C phosphatases in these two processes, and we show that four of them (PP2Cα, PP2Cβ, ILKAP, and PHLPP) can be expected to function as tumor suppressor proteins, and one as an oncoprotein (PP2Cδ /Wip1). In addition, we demonstrate that in virtually all cases in which they have been linked to the stress response, PP2Cs act as inhibitors of cellular stress signaling. Based on the vast amount of experimental evidence obtained thus far, it therefore seems justified to conclude that type 2C protein phosphatases are important physiological regulators of cell growth and of cellular stress signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-461
Number of pages25
JournalCritical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Cell growth
  • PP2C
  • Protein phosphorylation
  • Serine/threonine-specific phosphatases
  • Signal transduction
  • Stress response


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