Protein phosphatase 2A in the healthy and failing heart: New insights and therapeutic opportunities

Nicola M. Sergienko, Daniel G. Donner, Lea M.D. Delbridge, Julie R. McMullen, Kate L. Weeks

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Protein phosphatases have emerged as critical regulators of phosphoprotein homeostasis in settings of health and disease. Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) encompasses a large subfamily of enzymes that remove phosphate groups from serine/threonine residues within phosphoproteins. The heterogeneity in PP2A structure, which arises from the grouping of different catalytic, scaffolding and regulatory subunit isoforms, creates distinct populations of catalytically active enzymes (i.e. holoenzymes) that localise to different parts of the cell. This structural complexity, combined with other regulatory mechanisms, such as interaction of PP2A heterotrimers with accessory proteins and post-translational modification of the catalytic and/or regulatory subunits, enables PP2A holoenzymes to target phosphoprotein substrates in a highly specific manner. In this review, we summarise the roles of PP2A in cardiac physiology and disease. PP2A modulates numerous processes that are vital for heart function including calcium handling, contractility, β-adrenergic signalling, metabolism and transcription. Dysregulation of PP2A has been observed in human cardiac disease settings, including heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Efforts are underway, particularly in the cancer field, to develop therapeutics targeting PP2A activity. The development of small molecule activators of PP2A (SMAPs) and other compounds that selectively target specific PP2A holoenzymes (e.g. PP2A/B56α and PP2A/B56ε) will improve understanding of the function of different PP2A species in the heart, and may lead to the development of therapeutics for normalising aberrant protein phosphorylation in settings of cardiac remodelling and dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110213
Number of pages15
JournalCellular Signalling
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Heart failure
  • Kinases
  • PP2A
  • Protein phosphatase 2A
  • Therapies

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