Kinase & Phosphodiesterase Enzyme Function
A kinase is a type of enzyme that transfers phosphate groups from high-energy donor molecules, such as DNA, to specific target molecules (i.e., substrates). The process is termed phosphorylation. An enzyme that removes phosphate groups from targets is known as a phosphatase.
Phosphorylation can have a number of different purposes. In some cases, phosphorylation activates a molecule, increasing its energy so it is able to participate in a subsequent reaction. In other cases, phosphorylation can inhibit the activity of the molecule; for example, phosphorylation of scr, a tyrosine kinase, effectively shuts down the activity of the enzyme. Phosphorylation of one protein can also cause it to bind to other proteins; this binding event can modulate the activity of a signaling pathway.
The largest group of kinases is protein kinases, which act on and modify the activity of specific proteins. Protein kinases transmit signals and control complex processes in cells. Various other kinases act on small molecules either for signaling or to prime them for biochemical reactions.
When the human genome sequence was published earlier this decade, just over 500 of the thousands of hypothetical proteins predicted were protein kinases. Protein kinases are a validated, druggable target class. Long leveraged as a critical target class for cancer, protein kinases are now being studied as target classes for an increasing number of disease conditions, including central nervous system disease, chronic and acute pain, inflammation, immune disorders, cardiotoxicity, and diabetes.
Please use the links below to learn more about how Molecular Devices can support your kinase research efforts.
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