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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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« Life of the Party | Main | Our Friend the Phosphate Group, Redux »

August 13, 2002

Our Friend the Phosphate Group

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Posted by Derek

As for phosphorylation, I've had some folks write to talk about the importance of phosphate cleavages for cellular energy production, and about the conformational effects of phosphorylation. All that's well taken - but I guess what I was getting at yesterday is that (for example) sulfation would seem to be a perfectly reasonable way to modify proteins. Why didn't life end up using it?

Perhaps the phosphate energy part is the key. That's such a basic mechanism that enzymes to handle phosphate groups must be archaic indeed. It could be that evolution just found a use for them, since they were there anyway, and that competing methods of post-transcriptional modification (like sulfation) never got off the ground. Of course, there's always glycosylation - wonder when that kicked in, evolutionarily?

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: General Scientific News | Life As We (Don't) Know It


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