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Phosphoinositides regulate many cellular processes, and cellular levels are controlled by kinases and phosphatases. SHIP2 (SH2 (Src homology 2)-domain-containing inositol-phosphatase-2) plays a critical role in phosphoinositide signaling, cleaving the 5-phosphate from phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate. SHIP2 is thought to be involved in type-2 diabetes and obesity, conditions that could therefore be open to pharmacological modulation of the enzyme. However, rational design of SHIP2 inhibitors has been limited by the absence of a high-resolution structure. Here, we present a 2.1 Å resolution crystal structure of the phosphatase domain of SHIP2 bound to the synthetic ligand biphenyl 2,3',4,5',6-pentakisphosphate (BiPh(2,3',4,5',6)P(5)). BiPh(2,3',4,5',6)P(5) is not a SHIP2 substrate but inhibits Ins(1,3,4,5)P(4) hydrolysis with an IC(50) of 24.8 ± 3.0 μM, (K(m) for Ins(1,3,4,5)P(4) is 215 ± 28 μM). Molecular dynamics simulations suggest that when BiPh(2,3',4,5',6)P(5) binds to SHIP2, a flexible loop folds over and encloses the ligand. Compounds targeting such a closed conformation might therefore deliver SHIP2-specific drugs.

Original publication




Journal article


ACS Chem Biol

Publication Date





822 - 828


Biphenyl Compounds, Crystallography, X-Ray, Drug Design, Enzyme Inhibitors, Humans, Models, Molecular, Phosphates, Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates, Phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-Trisphosphate 5-Phosphatases, Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases, src Homology Domains