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Phosphorylation

Phosphorylation

The process of introducing a phosphate group into a molecule, usually with the formation of a phosphoric ester, a phosphoric anhydride or a phosphoric amide. Protein phosphorylation is the main molecular mechanism by which cells regulate protein function in response to extracellular stimuli.

Extracellular signals such as neurotransmitters, hormones, light, neurotrophic factors and cytokines produces physiological effects through regulation of phosphorylation of phosphoproteins. Over 95% of protein phosphorylation occurs on serine residues, 3-4% on threonine residues and less than 1% on tyrosine residues. Protein kinases are enzymes which transfer phosphate groups to proteins, a reaction that requires ATP as a phosphate donor and enzyme catalyst. Protein phophatases reverse this chemical reaction.

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