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Use of an anaerobic chamber environment for the assay of endogenous cellular protein-tyrosine phosphatase activities


Protein-tyrosine phosphatases (PTPases) have a catalytic cysteine residue whose reduced state is integral to the reaction mechanism. Since exposure to air can artifactually oxidize this highly reactive thiol, PTPase assays have typically used potent reducing agents to reactivate the enzymes present; however, this approach does not allow for the measurement of the endogenous PTPase activity directly isolated from the in vivo cellular environment. Here we provide a method for using an anaerobic chamber to preserve the activity of the total PTPase complement in a tissue lysate or of an immunoprecipitated PTPase homolog to characterize their endogenous activation state. Comparison with a sample treated with biochemical reducing agents allows the determination of the activatable (reducible) fraction of the endogenous PTPase pool.


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Correspondence to Li Zhu or Barry Goldstein M.D., Ph.D..

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Published: June 11, 2002.

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Zhu, L., Goldstein, B. Use of an anaerobic chamber environment for the assay of endogenous cellular protein-tyrosine phosphatase activities. Biol Proced Online 4, 1–9 (2002).

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Indexing terms

  • signal transduction
  • cysteine
  • protein-tyrosine-phosphatase
  • oxidation-reduction