The Signaling Pathway

In a typical signaling pathway, proteins are continually being modified and demodified. Kinases and phosphatases work ceaselessly like ants in a nest, adding phosphate groups to proteins and removing them again. It seems a pointless exercise, especially when you consider that each cycle of addition and removal costs the cell one molecule of ATP—one unit of precious energy. Indeed, cyclic reactions of this kind were initially labeled “futile.” But the adjective is misleading. The addition of phosphate groups to proteins is the single most common reaction in cells and underpins a large proportion of the computations they perform. Far from being futile, this cyclic reaction provides the cell with an essential resource: a flexible and rapidly tunable device.


The underlying cyclical process of a synapse firing that turns it into a "tunable" device.

Folksonomies: neurology

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Enzyme (0.965043): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
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DNA (0.815437): website | dbpedia | freebase | yago
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Kinase (0.570130): dbpedia | freebase
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Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Bray, Dennis (2009), Wetware, Yale University Press, Retrieved on 2013-12-24
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