Organisms exist in a continually changing environment: they are constantly bombarded and challenged with stimuli to which they must respond in order to survive. Such responses require three essential steps: detection/initiation, transmission and read-out. In practice, a cell detects a particular signal, such as the presence of a hormone or the appearance of a potentially damaging free radical, and activates a series of enzymes in a signalling cascade that ultimately determines the appropriate biological outcome. These responses are largely achieved via PTMs (post-translational modifications) of pre-existing proteins by specific enzymes. In this series of articles, experts in the relevant subject areas review our current understanding of the major PTMs and how they affect their target proteins.

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