Peptides containing the non-hydrolysable phosphotyrosine analogue 4-[difluro(phosphono)methyl]phenylalanine [Phe(CF2P)] were synthesized and tested as inhibitors of the protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) PTP1B, CD45, PTPβ, LAR and SHP-1. We have identified peptides containing two adjacent Phe(CF2P) residues as potent inhibitors of PTPs. The tripeptide having the sequence Glu-Phe(CF2P)-Phe(CF2P) is a potent and selective inhibitor of PTP1B. This peptide inhibits PTP1B with an IC50 of 40 nM, which is at least 100-fold lower than with other PTPs. A second tripeptide, Pro-Phe(CF2P)-Phe(CF2P), is most potent against PTPβ, with an IC50 of 200 nM, and inhibits PTP1B with an IC50 of 300 nM. These data suggest that it is possible to develop selective, active-site-directed, reversible, potent inhibitors of PTPs.

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