protein kinase

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protein kinase An enzyme that catalyses the transfer of a phosphate group from ATP to an intracellular protein, thereby affecting the biological activity of the protein (see kinase). Protein kinases phosphorylate specific amino-acid residues of their target proteins, usually either serine, threonine, or tyrosine. They play an important role in increasing or decreasing enzyme activity and in transmitting signals from receptors on the cell surface (see signal transduction). The activity of the protein kinases is itself controlled by cyclic AMP, calcium ions, or other intracellular chemicals. It can be reversed by the action of phosphatase enzymes in the cell.