The phosphorylation status of oncoproteins is regulated by both kinases and phosphatases. Kinase inhibitors are rarely sufficient for successful cancer treatment, and phosphatases have been considered undruggable targets for cancer drug development. However, innovative pharmacological approaches for targeting phosphatases have recently emerged. Here, we review progress in the therapeutic targeting of oncogenic Src homology region 2 domain-containing phosphatase-2 (SHP2) and tumor suppressor protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) and select other druggable oncogenic and tumor suppressor phosphatases. We describe the modes of action for currently available small molecules that target phosphatases, their use in drug combinations, and advances in clinical development toward future cancer therapies.
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