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The accurate regulation of metabolism is crucial to the existence all organisms. The inappropriate activation of metabolic enzymes can waste precious energy; likewise, the failure to activate metabolic enzymes can disrupt homeostasis and lead to suboptimal cellular (and organismic) responses. Plants use several means to control their metabolic proteins, including a two-step process of protein phosphorylation and subsequent binding by phosphospecific binding proteins termed 14-3-3 proteins. Sehnke and Ferl discuss how 14-3-3 proteins regulate the activity of nitrate reductase and the H+-ATPase pump in plants, and compare the functions of 14-3-3 proteins in plants and animals.