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Genes 2018, 9(3), 121; doi:10.3390/genes9030121

Protein Phosphatase 2A in the Regulation of Wnt Signaling, Stem Cells, and Cancer

Medical Scientist Training Program, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232 USA
Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232, USA
Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville, TN 37212, USA
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 January 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wnt Signaling in Stem Cells)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [584 KB, uploaded 26 February 2018]   |  


Protein phosphorylation is a ubiquitous cellular process that allows for the nuanced and reversible regulation of protein activity. Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a heterotrimeric serine-threonine phosphatase—composed of a structural, regulatory, and catalytic subunit—that controls a variety of cellular events via protein dephosphorylation. While much is known about PP2A and its basic biochemistry, the diversity of its components—especially the multitude of regulatory subunits—has impeded the determination of PP2A function. As a consequence of this complexity, PP2A has been shown to both positively and negatively regulate signaling networks such as the Wnt pathway. Wnt signaling modulates major developmental processes, and is a dominant mediator of stem cell self-renewal, cell fate, and cancer stem cells. Because PP2A affects Wnt signaling both positively and negatively and at multiple levels, further understanding of this complex dynamic may ultimately provide insight into stem cell biology and how to better treat cancers that result from alterations in Wnt signaling. This review will summarize literature that implicates PP2A as a tumor suppressor, explore PP2A mutations identified in human malignancy, and focus on PP2A in the regulation of Wnt signaling and stem cells so as to better understand how aberrancy in this pathway can contribute to tumorigenesis. View Full-Text
Keywords: protein phosphatases; Wnt-signaling; stem cells; cancer protein phosphatases; Wnt-signaling; stem cells; cancer

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Thompson, J.J.; Williams, C.S. Protein Phosphatase 2A in the Regulation of Wnt Signaling, Stem Cells, and Cancer. Genes 2018, 9, 121.

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