The reversible phosphorylation of proteins plays hugely important roles in a variety of cellular processes, such as differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis. These processes are strictly controlled by protein kinases (phosphorylation) and phosphatases (de-phosphorylation). Here we provide a brief history of the study of protein phosphorylation, including a summary of different types of protein kinases and phosphatases. One of the most physiologically important serine/threonine phosphatases is PP2A. This review provides a description of the phenotypes of various PP2A transgenic mice and further focuses on the known functions of PP2A in bone formation, including its role in osteoblast differentiation and function. A reduction in PP2A promotes bone formation and osteoblast differentiation through the regulation of bone-related transcription factors such as Osterix. Interestingly, downregulation of PP2A also stimulates adipocyte differentiation from undifferentiated mesenchymal cells under the appropriate adipogenic differentiation conditions. In osteoblasts, PP2A is also involved in the ability to control osteoclastogenesis as well as in the proliferation and metastasis of osteosarcoma cells. Thus, PP2A is considered to be a comprehensive factor in controlling the differentiation and function of cells derived from mesenchymal cells such as osteoblasts and adipocytes.
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