Phosphorylation

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Information @ a Glance

  • Phosphorylation is the addition of a phosphate (PO43-) group to a protein or other organic molecule.

  • Phosphorylation turns many protein enzymes on and off, thereby altering their function and activity.

  • It is the most essential post-translational modification of proteins, modulates proteins conformation, stability, trafficking, interaction and cellular dynamics and plasticity.

  • It changes the activity of important signaling proteins. By controlling the activity of these proteins, kinases control most cellular processes including metabolism, transcription, cell cycle progression, cell movement, apoptosis .

  • Phosphorylation is a fundamental covalent PTM that regulates the function, localization and binding specificity of target proteins.

  • Protein phosphorylation in particular plays a significant role in a wide range of cellular processes. Its prominent role in biochemistry is the subject of a very large body of research (as of March 2012, the Medline database returns nearly 200,000 articles on the subject, largely on protein phosphorylation).

  • Reversible phosphorylation of proteins is an important regulatory mechanism that occurs in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms.

  • Within a protein, phosphorylation can occur on several amino acids. Phosphorylation on serine is the most common, followed by threonine. Tyrosine phosphorylation is relatively rare.
    ATP, the "high-energy" exchange medium in the cell, is synthesized in the mitochondrion by addition of a third phosphate group to ADP in a process referred to as oxidative phosphorylation. ATP is also synthesized by substrate-level phosphorylation during glycolysis.

  • It is the most common mechanism of regulating protein function and transmitting signals throughout the cell. While phosphorylation has been observed in bacterial proteins, it is considerably more pervasive in eukaryotic cells. It is estimated that one-third of the proteins in the human proteome are substrates for phosphorylation at some point.

  • Protein phosphorylation is the most ubiquitous post-translational modification (PTM), and plays important role in most of biological processes.

  • Identification of site-specific phosphorylated substrates is fundamental for understanding the molecular mechanisms of phosphorylation.

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