Histidine protein kinases: Key signal transducers outside the animal kingdom

Peter M. Wolanin, Peter A. Thomason, Jeffry Benton Stock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

236 Scopus citations

Abstract

Histidine protein kinases (HPKs) are a large family of signal-transduction enzymes that autophosphorylate on a conserved histidine residue. HPKs form two-component signaling systems together with their downstream target proteins, the response regulators, which have a conserved aspartate in a so-called 'receiver domain' that is phosphorylated by the HPK. Two-component signal transduction is prevalent in bacteria and is also widely used by eukaryotes outside the animal kingdom. The typical HPK is a transmembrane receptor with an amino-terminal extracellular sensing domain and carboxy-terminal cytosolic signaling domain; most, if not all, HPKs function as dimers. They show little similarity to protein kinases that phosphorylate serine, threonine or tyrosine residues, but may share a distant evolutionary relationship with these enzymes. In excess of a thousand known genes encode HPKs, which are important for multiple functions in bacteria, including processes. The proteins divide into at least II subfamilies, only one of which is present in eukaryotes, suggesting that lateral gene transfer gave rise to two-component signaling in these organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3013
JournalGenome biology
Volume3
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 29 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology

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