Protein Kinases

Thomas A Hamilton, Department of Immunology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Copyright © 1998 Elsevier Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Protein kinase is a general term to describe an enzyme activity that can catalyze the transfer of phosphate from a donor source (usually nucleotide triphosphate, either ATP or GTP) to an acceptor amino acid residue in a polypeptide substrate. The resulting covalent modification of peptide structure leads to a new activity status for the target protein. That protein kinase-mediated protein phosphorylation is of central importance in biology is clearly evidenced by the broad distribution of such enzymes in both the plant and animal kingdoms.

The following discussion will address the central role for protein phosphorylation in stimulus-response coupling, the broad spectrum and characteristics of the protein kinases which participate in such activity, and the involvement of various protein kinases in the function of myeloid cell types. The reader is referred to related entries on cell activation for a discussion of the role of protein kinases in non-myeloid immune cell types.

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