Research ResourceBiochemistry

Tracing the origin and evolution of pseudokinases across the tree of life

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Science Signaling  23 Apr 2019:
Vol. 12, Issue 578, eaav3810
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aav3810

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Hunting pseudokinases

Pseudokinases generally have a similar structure to that of kinases but without the catalytic function. Rather, they serve alternative, some as yet unknown, functions across various signaling niches in many cell and tissue types. Kwon et al. performed an evolutionary analysis of pseudokinases across species and classified both known and previously unknown pseudokinases into groups and families. Their analysis reveals that pseudokinases are more prevalent than was previously appreciated and shows how pseudokinase structures may have evolved to confer advantageous functions in bacteria, plants, and animals. The classification is part of a new online, mineable resource called ProKinO.