Affiliation: Institute of Molecular Science, Shanxi University, 92 Wucheng Road, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030006, People's Republic of China.
Protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) are a large family of signaling enzymes playing critical role in signal transduction and regulation of cellular processes. Dysfunction of PTP activity is associated with diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disorders, and neural diseases. PTP inhibitors therefore emerged as promising therapeutic targets. Recent research indicates that besides small organic molecules, metal ions and metal complexes can also strongly inhibit PTPs both in vitro and in vivo, resulting in the increase of phosphorylation of corresponding substrates and the modulation of cellular process. Structure of metal complexes influences the potency and selectivity of PTP inhibition. Detailed studies on this subject are not only expected to yield metal-based drugs targeting individual PTPs, but also to support understanding the function of metals in organisms. This review focuses on recent advancements in this area of research.