A prospective view on phosphatases and replicative senescence.
Addition of phosphate to proteins by kinases, or its removal by phosphatases, is probably the control mechanism most often used by cells to maintain homeostasis. This mechanism presents the advantage of being fast, versatile, and easily reversible. It is used by all organisms from bacteria to man. Although more is known about the kinases, recent studies are beginning to shed light on the role of phosphatases, the enzymes that are responsible for terminating the effects of phosphorylation. These enzymes are perfect candidates for controlling all the crucial check points during cell cycle traverse, and as such, will be found to be responsible for many important decision in the life of a cell, including entry into replicative senescence.
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