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Definition: phosphorylation from Collins English Dictionary


1 the chemical or enzymic introduction into a compound of a phosphoryl group (a trivalent radical of phosphorus and oxygen)

Summary Article: Phosphorylation
from Encyclopedia of Cancer

Is the addition of a phosphate (PO4) group to a protein molecule or a small molecule. The process of phosphorylating a compound (e.g., chemical, protein) is either by a reaction with an inorganic phosphate or by transferring a phosphate from another organic phosphate. This process can be used to regulate biological processes in cells. Another way to define it would be the introduction of a phosphate group into an organic molecule. In eukaryotes, protein phosphorylation is probably the most important regulatory event. Many enzymes and receptors are switched “on” or “off” by phosphorylation and dephosphorylation. Phosphorylation is catalyzed by various specific protein kinases, whereas phosphatases dephosphorylate. Phosphorylation is observed on serine, threonine, tyrosine, and histidine residues.

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011, 2009, 2001

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