Role of Zinc and Magnesium Ions in the Modulation of Phosphoryl Transfer in Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B

Elisa Bellomo, Asma Abro, Christer Hogstrand, Wolfgang Maret*, Carmen Domene

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
263 Downloads (Pure)


While the majority of phosphatases are metalloenzymes, the prevailing model for the reactions catalyzed by protein tyrosine phosphatases does not involve any metal ion, yet both metal cations and oxoanions affect their enzymatic activity. Mg2+ and Zn2+ activate and inhibit, respectively, protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B). Molecular dynamics simulations, metadynamics, and quantum chemical calculations in combination with experimental investigations demonstrate that Mg2+ and Zn2+ compete for the same binding site in the active site only in the closed conformation of the enzyme in its phosphorylated state. The two cations have different effects on the arrangements and activities of water molecules that are necessary for the hydrolysis of the phosphocysteine intermediate in the second catalytic step of the reaction. Remarkable differences between the established structural enzymology of PTP1B investigated ex vivo and the function of PTP1B in vivo become evident. Different reaction pathways are viable when the presence of metal ions and their cellular concentrations are considered. The findings suggest that the substrate delivers the inhibitory Zn2+ ion to the active site. The inhibition and activation can be ascribed to the different coordination chemistries of Zn2+ and Mg2+ ions and the orientation of the metal-coordinated water molecules. Metallochemistry adds an additional dimension to the regulation of PTP1B and presumably other members of this enzyme family.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4446-4454
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number12
Early online date7 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2018


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