This review focuses on the recognition properties of protein kinases at the molecular level. Phosphorylation of the substrate protein by a protein kinase can result in enzyme activation or inhibition, conformational changes that change recognition properties, or the creation of a surface with distinct binding properties. Protein kinases have become important targets for the development of inhibitors with potential therapeutic application. Various examples are considered in this review, and I discuss our own work on glycogen phosphorylase and phosphorylase kinase, and the structures of proteins involved with the cell cycle, including cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases.

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