In the Beginning, There Was Protein Phosphorylation [Microbiology]

February 19th, 2014 by Kyriakis, J. M.

The importance of reversible protein phosphorylation to cellular regulation cannot be overstated. In eukaryotic cells, protein kinase/phosphatase signaling pathways regulate a staggering number of cellular processes including cell proliferation, cell death (apoptosis, necroptosis, necrosis), metabolism (both at the cellular and organismal levels), behavior and neurological function, development and pathogen resistance. While protein phosphorylation as a mode of eukaryotic cell regulation is familiar to most biochemists, many are less familiar with protein kinase/phosphatase signaling networks that function in prokaryotes. In this issue, we present four minireviews that cover the important field of prokaryotic protein phosphorylation.