Protein kinases constitute a large protein family of important regulators in all eukaryotic cells. All of the protein kinases have a similar bilobal fold, and their key structural features have been well studied. However, the recent discovery of non-contiguous hydrophobic ensembles inside the protein kinase core shed new light on the internal organization of these molecules. Two hydrophobic "spines" traverse both lobes of the protein kinase molecule, providing a firm but flexible connection between its key elements. The spine model introduces a useful framework for analysis of intramolecular communications, molecular dynamics, and drug design.
Published by Elsevier B.V.