PerspectiveSignal Transduction

Unexpected Mediators of Protein Phosphorylation

Science  17 Dec 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5704, pp. 2053-2055
DOI: 10.1126/science.1107225

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The classic way of regulating proteins is by adding phosphate groups to them (phosphorylation), a job normally carried out by enzymes called kinases. In their Perspective, York and Hunter discuss exciting work ( Saiardi et al.) suggesting that kinases are in for some stiff competition. High-energy signaling molecules called inositol pyrophosphates are able to donate phosphate groups to proteins in a nonenzymatic fashion. This represents a new way for signals to be transduced in cells.