The Biology Project: Biochemistry

Chemistry Tutorial

Problem 1: Regulation

The addition of a phosphate group by a protein kinase is a key regulatory switch for many biological processes. How can regulation be achieved by this simple mechanism?

A. Phosphorylation can change the three dimensional structure of a protein, and thus alter the number of and orientation of weak interactions that could be made in biologically relevant interactions. This can change the specificity of protein binding to its target as a biological switch.
B. Phosphorylation changes the protein to a nucleic acid serving as a switch for biological regulation.

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