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ETD 27: A. What is the difference between a kinase and a Phosphatase? B. Why do you need both?
November 20, 2013 at 10:16am


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Tori McDermott Hale
November 24, 2013 at 6:32pm

Parent:What i learned was the the kinase is a transfer protein. The kinase need the phosphatase to be a regulator. It also turns off the kinase, making it inactive.  What I got out of this question was the the Phosphatase helps regulate what happens. 

Student: After talking about this subject it helped me gain a better understanding of the differences between the two.

Tyler Brenneman
November 24, 2013 at 6:55pm


I learned the differences between Kinase and Phosphatase. Kinase is a molecule that passes Phosphates around like a relay turning on other proteins. Active kinase's are what allow the cell signaling process to continue. Phosphatase turns off the process by cutting off the phosphates connected to the Kinase's. This makes all of the activated proteins turn inactive. All in all, phosphatas's and kinase's are used to regulate the cell signaling process.  

Tyler: After teaching my mom this process, my understanding of phosphatase was deepened. I further learned how these proteins actually cut off the phosphates. They cut them off by hydrolysising phosphoric acid monoesters into a phosphate ion and a molecule with a free hydroxyl group.

Sophie Wulfing
November 25, 2013 at 10:06pm


Ligand binding to a receptor protein starts a message   Leads to signalling transduction which is the changing shape of a relay protein. Step by step way to pass a signal, saving energy compared to one that goes all the way across the cell.   One relay protein can be a Kinase, which is the passing on of a phosphate which activates and deactivates the Kinase protein?  A phosphatase tears the phosphate from the Kinase, deactivating it.  You need both to grab and release the phosphate to pass on the message, kinda like a relay baton.  Different kinds of cell signalling are (1) paracrine, cell releases signalling ligands(?) for others to pick up.  (2) Synaptic, the use of neurons to pass a signal.  (3) hormonal - long distance signalling by use of the blood stream.


I had to look up the different types of signaling and how exactly they function. Paracrine is just a cell secreting a signal, synaptic is the use of a neuron, and endocrine is the use of blood to carry hormones. I think I understand kinases and phosphatases pretty well but I needed to look at the diagrams for a reminder.

Cory Cox
November 26, 2013 at 8:00pm

Kinase: The overall idea is that kinase "kicks stuff on" whether that's gene expression or changing shape. The process is that relay proteins bind to inactive kinase, change shape, then a cellular response begins.

Phosophatase: Chops off phosphatase, which leads to turning off the reaction. The kinase which has a phosphate connected to it, is seperated through phosphatase.

Parent: Very complicated subject that I surely hope my son studies. I would like to know more about the response and what that effects in my body though.

I learned that I needed to spend more time on this subject. I was hit with a lot of questions from my mom that I had trouble answering.

Kevin Turek
December 31, 2013 at 9:48am

Parent: My son said that kinase is basically an on/off switch while phosphatase is basically a regulator. When the signaling ligand comes into place with the receptor protein it will activate the kinase, starting the reaction. Then the phosphatase can decide whether to let it happen or cut off a phosphate stopping the reaction from happening. You need both for the reaction to happen.

Student: I showed my mom the diagram I drew in my ETD. I had already explained a kinase to her previously, so she understood that it was basically an on/off switch. All I needed to do was explain what a phosphatase was.

Madison Boggan
November 22, 2014 at 3:55pm

Parent: Madison broke these concepts down for me very simply: kinase-kick on. Phosphatase-chop off PO4 to deactivate. And both are necessary because things can't be active and turned on forever without overproduction becoming a problem. 

Madison: I used the concept of what comes up must come down to explain why we need both. What is turned on must be turned off. Kinase with a k is like kick on with a k. Phosphatase with a phos cuts of phosphate and this deactivate (ates rhymes). 

Mary Fuller
January 22, 2015 at 9:30pm

Student: Both kinase and phosphatase is a part of cellular signaling. Kinase is activated when a relay protein hits it just right. The active kinase then bumps into another inactive kinase and on an on. The active kinase is phosphorylated and sends out cellular responses. Phosphatase does the opposite of kinase. It chops off the phosphate group from kinase, making it inactive. This allows cell signaling to remain controlled.


Parent: Mary explained that kinase and phosphatase are essentially opposites. Kinase causes a signal to be spread in a cell while phosphatase stops the kinase from doing so. It is important to have both so that cell signaling is controlled.

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