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The B56 family of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) regulatory subunits encodes differentiation-induced phosphoproteins that target PP2A to both nucleus and cytoplasm.

Protein phosphatase 2A is a heterotrimeric protein serine/threonine phosphatase consisting of a 36-kDa catalytic C subunit, a 65-kDa structural A subunit, and a variable regulatory B subunit. The B subunits determine the substrate specificity of the enzyme. There have been three families of cellular B subunits identified to date: B55, B56 (B'), and PR72/130. We have now cloned five genes encoding human B56 isoforms. Polypeptides encoded by all but one splice variant (B56gamma1) are phosphoproteins, as shown by mobility shift after treatment with alkaline phosphatase and metabolic labeling with [32P]phosphate. All labeled isoforms contain solely phosphoserine. Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy demonstrates distinct patterns of intracellular targeting by different B56 isoforms. Specifically, B56alpha, B56beta, and B56epsilon complexed with the protein phosphatase 2A A and C subunits localize to the cytoplasm, whereas B56delta, B56gamma1, and B56gamma3 are concentrated in the nucleus. Two isoforms (B56beta and B56delta) are highly expressed in adult brain; here we show that mRNA for these isoforms increases severalfold when neuroblastoma cell lines are induced to differentiate by retinoic acid treatment. These studies demonstrate an increasing diversity of regulatory mechanisms to control the activity of this key intracellular protein phosphatase and suggest distinct functions for isoforms targeted to different intracellular locations.

Pubmed ID: 8703017


  • McCright B
  • Rivers AM
  • Audlin S
  • Virshup DM


The Journal of biological chemistry

Publication Data

September 6, 1996

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: P30 CA42014
  • Agency: NIAID NIH HHS, Id: R01 AI-31657
  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: T32-CA09602

Mesh Terms

  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Cell Nucleus
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cytoplasm
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Phosphatase 2
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Software
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Tretinoin
  • Up-Regulation