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Genetics Home Reference: your guide to understanding genetic conditions     A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine®

Serine/threonine phosphatases gene family

Reviewed July 2012

What are the serine/threonine phosphatases genes?

Most genes in the serine/threonine phosphatases family provide instructions for making proteins called phosphatases. Phosphatases remove a phosphate group, which is a cluster of one phosphorus and three oxygen atoms, from other proteins. Other genes in this family provide instructions for making proteins that help regulate the phosphatases. These regulatory proteins are usually part of a group of proteins (a complex) that includes a phosphatase.

Phosphatases in this family remove phosphate groups from the amino acids serine and threonine, which are two of the building blocks used to make proteins. The removal of phosphate groups (dephosphorylation) from serine or threonine helps regulate the activity of proteins by changing the electrical charge or the shape of the protein, which affects its activity and how it interacts with other proteins.

Serine/threonine phosphatases regulate many cellular processes, such as the repair of damaged DNA, the production of energy for cells, cell growth and division (proliferation), and cell death. Because of their roles in diverse processes, these proteins influence many body functions, including early development before birth, learning, and memory. Mutations in the serine/threonine phosphatases gene family can result in the development of neurological problems, developmental abnormalities that are present at birth, and cancers, among other conditions.

Which genes are included in the serine/threonine phosphatases gene family?

The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) provides an index of gene families ( and their member genes.

Genetics Home Reference summarizes the normal function and health implications of these members of the serine/threonine phosphatases gene family: CTDP1 and PDP1.

What conditions are related to genes in the serine/threonine phosphatases gene family?

Genetics Home Reference includes these conditions related to genes in the serine/threonine phosphatases gene family:

  • congenital cataracts, facial dysmorphism, and neuropathy
  • pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency

Where can I find additional information about the serine/threonine phosphatases gene family?

You may find the following resources about the serine/threonine phosphatases gene family helpful.

  • Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular and Medical Aspects (sixth edition, 1999): Protein Serine-Threonine Phosphatases (

What glossary definitions help with understanding the serine/threonine phosphatases gene family?

acids ; catalytic ; cell ; dehydrogenase ; dephosphorylation ; DNA ; gene ; neurological ; oxygen ; phosphatase ; phosphate ; phosphorus ; proliferation ; protein ; serine ; subunit ; threonine

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.


These sources were used to develop the Genetics Home Reference summary for the serine/threonine phosphatases gene family.

  • Molecular Biology of the Cell (fourth edition, 2002): Many Changes in Proteins Are Driven by Phosphorylation (
  • Biochemistry (fifth edition, 2002): Phosphorylation Is a Highly Effective Means of Regulating the Activities of Target Proteins (
  • Mansuy IM, Shenolikar S. Protein serine/threonine phosphatases in neuronal plasticity and disorders of learning and memory. Trends Neurosci. 2006 Dec;29(12):679-86. Epub 2006 Nov 3. Review. (
  • Sun H, Wang Y. Novel Ser/Thr protein phosphatases in cell death regulation. Physiology (Bethesda). 2012 Feb;27(1):43-52. doi: 10.1152/physiol.00034.2011. Review. (
  • Peng A, Maller JL. Serine/threonine phosphatases in the DNA damage response and cancer. Oncogene. 2010 Nov 11;29(45):5977-88. doi: 10.1038/onc.2010.371. Epub 2010 Sep 13. Review. (


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? ( in the Handbook.

Reviewed: July 2012
Published: February 8, 2016