Pharmacological characterization of protein phosphatase activities in preparations from failing human hearts

Joachim Neumann, Renke Maas, Peter Bokník, Larry R. Jones, Norbert Zimmermann, Hasso Scholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


β-Adrenoceptor stimulation acts in the heart in part by increasing the phosphorylation state of phospholamban and phospholemman. There is evidence that the β-adrenoceptor-mediated increase in phospholamban phosphorylation is in part due to inhibition of type 1 phosphatases. The aim of the present study was to elucidate which phosphatases dephosphorylate phospholamban and phospholemman in the human heart. In the past, cardiac serine/threonine phosphatases have been studied using phosphorylase a as substrate. Here, type 1 and type 2A phosphatase activities were studied in preparations from failing human hearts using phosphorylated phospholamban and phospholemman as substrates. Phospholamban and phospholemman phosphatase activity was detectable in human cardiac homogenates. Moreover, using a heparin-Sepharose column, the catalytic subunits of type 1 and type 2A phosphatases could be separated from human ventricles. Okadaic acid and cantharidin inhibited phosphatase activities dephosphorylating phospholamban, phospholemman, and phosphorylase a in homogenates in a concentration-dependent manner. However, okadaic acid was more potent. Cantharidin inhibited type 2A and type 1 activities against all substrates studied with IC50 values <15 nM and >290 nM, respectively. Okadaic acid inhibited type 1 and type 2A phosphatase activities as effectively but 10-30 times more potently than cantharidin. This work provides evidence that in the human heart, type 1 and 2A phosphatases are involved in the dephosphorylation of phospholamban and phospholemman and could play a role in the effects of β-adrenergic stimulation in the heart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-193
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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