Dr Adrian Saurin, from the Division of Cancer Research, has published a review in the journal Trends in Cell Biology that highlights how protein phosphorylation signals, one of the key areas of research interest across the University, can regulate complex responses.
In the review Dr Saurin and his colleagues have detailed fundamentally important aspects about the signalling process that are not widely understood.
“The simple textbook answer to the question ‘how are protein phosphorylation signals controlled?’ is that kinases and phosphatases work antagonistically to switch phosphorylation signals on and off,” said Dr Saurin. “This description is not only far too simplistic, in many cases it is also misleading.
“These enzymes work antagonistically to switch individual molecules on and off, but they work very much together to define the ‘signals’. This cooperativity allows for tight control of the amplitude, localisation, timing and shape of phosphorylation signals. In this way, a variety of different outputs can be used to control complex biological responses.”
Dr Saurin has also made a short video to communicate the key points of the paper in simple terms:
Further details of the work in the Saurin Lab can be found at SaurinLab.com.