In chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

 and biochemistry
Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes in living organisms, including, but not limited to, living matter. Biochemistry governs all living organisms and living processes...

, a kinase is a type of enzyme
Enzymes are proteins that catalyze chemical reactions. In enzymatic reactions, the molecules at the beginning of the process, called substrates, are converted into different molecules, called products. Almost all chemical reactions in a biological cell need enzymes in order to occur at rates...

 that transfers phosphate
A phosphate, an inorganic chemical, is a salt of phosphoric acid. In organic chemistry, a phosphate, or organophosphate, is an ester of phosphoric acid. Organic phosphates are important in biochemistry and biogeochemistry or ecology. Inorganic phosphates are mined to obtain phosphorus for use in...

 groups from high-energy donor molecules, such as ATP
Adenosine triphosphate
Adenosine-5'-triphosphate is a multifunctional nucleoside triphosphate used in cells as a coenzyme. It is often called the "molecular unit of currency" of intracellular energy transfer. ATP transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism...

, to specific substrate
Substrate (biochemistry)
In biochemistry, a substrate is a molecule upon which an enzyme acts. Enzymes catalyze chemical reactions involving the substrate. In the case of a single substrate, the substrate binds with the enzyme active site, and an enzyme-substrate complex is formed. The substrate is transformed into one or...

s, a process referred to as phosphorylation
Phosphorylation is the addition of a phosphate group to a protein or other organic molecule. Phosphorylation activates or deactivates many protein enzymes....

. Kinases are part of the larger family of phosphotransferase
Phosphotransferases are a category of enzymes that catalyze phosphorylation reactions. The general form of the reactions they catalyze is: A—P + B ⇔ B—P + A...

s. Kinases are not to be confused with phosphorylase
Phosphorylases are enzymes that catalyze the addition of a phosphate group from an inorganic phosphate to an acceptor.They include allosteric enzymes that catalyze the production of glucose-1-phosphate from a glucan such as glycogen, starch or maltodextrin. Phosphorylase is also a common name used...

s, which carry out phosphorolysis
Phosphorolysis is the cleavage of a compound in which inorganic phosphate is the attacking group. It is analogous to hydrolysis.An example of this is glycogen breakdown by glycogen phosphorylase, which catalyzes attack by inorganic phosphate on the terminal glycosyl residue at the nonreducing end...

, the breaking of a bond using an inorganic phosphate group; or with phosphatase
A phosphatase is an enzyme that removes a phosphate group from its substrate by hydrolysing phosphoric acid monoesters into a phosphate ion and a molecule with a free hydroxyl group . This action is directly opposite to that of phosphorylases and kinases, which attach phosphate groups to their...

s, which remove phosphate groups.


One of the largest groups of kinases are protein kinase
Protein kinase
A protein kinase is a kinase enzyme that modifies other proteins by chemically adding phosphate groups to them . Phosphorylation usually results in a functional change of the target protein by changing enzyme activity, cellular location, or association with other proteins...

s, which act on and modify the activity of specific proteins. Kinases are used extensively to transmit signals and control complex processes in cells. More than five hundred different kinases have been identified in humans. Their enormous diversity, as well as their role in signaling, makes them an object of study.

Various other kinases act on small molecules such as lipid
Lipids constitute a broad group of naturally occurring molecules that include fats, waxes, sterols, fat-soluble vitamins , monoglycerides, diglycerides, triglycerides, phospholipids, and others...

s, carbohydrate
A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the empirical formula ; that is, consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 . However, there are exceptions to this. One common example would be deoxyribose, a component of DNA, which has the empirical...

s, amino acid
Amino acid
Amino acids are molecules containing an amine group, a carboxylic acid group and a side-chain that varies between different amino acids. The key elements of an amino acid are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen...

s, and nucleotide
Nucleotides are molecules that, when joined together, make up the structural units of RNA and DNA. In addition, nucleotides participate in cellular signaling , and are incorporated into important cofactors of enzymatic reactions...

s, either for signaling or to prime them for metabolic pathway. Kinases are often named after their substrates.

See also

  • Cyclin-dependent kinase
    Cyclin-dependent kinase
    thumb|350px|Schematic of the cell cycle. outer ring: I=[[Interphase]], M=[[Mitosis]]; inner ring: M=Mitosis; G1=[[G1 phase|Gap phase 1]]; S=[[S phase|Synthesis]]; G2=[[G2 phase|Gap phase 2]]...

  • Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase
    Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase
    /calmodulin-dependent protein kinases II or CaM kinases II are serine/threonine-specific protein kinases that are regulated by the /calmodulin complex...

  • Signal transduction
    Signal transduction
    Signal transduction occurs when an extracellular signaling molecule activates a cell surface receptor. In turn, this receptor alters intracellular molecules creating a response...

  • G protein-coupled receptor
    G protein-coupled receptor
    G protein-coupled receptors , also known as seven-transmembrane domain receptors, 7TM receptors, heptahelical receptors, serpentine receptor, and G protein-linked receptors , comprise a large protein family of transmembrane receptors that sense molecules outside the cell and activate inside signal...

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