Biochemical characterization of phosphoserine phosphatase SerB2 from Mycobacterium marinum

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SerB2 is an essential phosphoserine phosphatase (PSP) that has been shown to be involved in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) immune evasion mechanisms, and a drug target for the development of new antitubercular agents. A highly similar (91.0%) orthologous enzyme exists in the surrogate organism Mycobacterium marinum (Mma) and could have acquired similar properties. By homology modeling, we show that the two PSPs are expected to exhibit almost identical architectures. MmaSerB2 folds into a homodimer formed by two intertwined subunits including two ACT regulatory domains followed by a catalytic core typical of HAD (haloacid dehalogenase) phosphatases. Their in vitro catalytic properties are closely related as MmaSerB2 also depends on Mg2+ for the dephosphorylation of its substrate, O-phospho-l-serine (PS), and is most active at neutral pH and temperatures around 40 °C. Moreover, an enzyme kinetics study revealed that the enzyme is inhibited by PS as well, but at lower concentrations than MtbSerB2. Substrate inhibition could occur through the binding of PS in the second active site and/or at the ACT domains interface. Finally, previously described beta-carboline MtbSerB2 inhibitors also decrease the phosphatase activity of MmaSerB2. Altogether, these results provide useful information when M.marinum is used as a model to study immune evasion in tuberculosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-744
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • Mycobacterium marinum
  • SerB2
  • Phosphoserine phosphatase
  • HAD phosphatases
  • clofazimine
  • Harmine derivatives


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