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Cell Commun Signal. 2011 Oct 28;9(1):23. doi: 10.1186/1478-811X-9-23.

The secret life of kinases: functions beyond catalysis.

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1
Systems Biology Ireland, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland. jens.rauch@ucd.ie.

Abstract

Protein phosphorylation participates in the regulation of all fundamental biological processes, and protein kinases have been intensively studied. However, while the focus was on catalytic activities, accumulating evidence suggests that non-catalytic properties of protein kinases are essential, and in some cases even sufficient for their functions. These non-catalytic functions include the scaffolding of protein complexes, the competition for protein interactions, allosteric effects on other enzymes, subcellular targeting, and DNA binding. This rich repertoire often is used to coordinate phosphorylation events and enhance the specificity of substrate phosphorylation, but also can adopt functions that do not rely on kinase activity. Here, we discuss such kinase independent functions of protein and lipid kinases focussing on kinases that play a role in the regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and motility.

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