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Cell. 2002 May 3;109(3):275-82.

The conformational plasticity of protein kinases.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California 94305, USA.


Protein kinases operate in a large number of distinct signaling pathways, where the tight regulation of their catalytic activity is crucial to the development and maintenance of eukaryotic organisms. The catalytic domains of different kinases adopt strikingly similar structures when they are active. By contrast, crystal structures of inactive kinases have revealed a remarkable plasticity in the kinase domain that allows the adoption of distinct conformations in response to interactions with specific regulatory domains or proteins.

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