The availability of genome sequence information and a large number of protein structures has allowed the cataloging of genes into various families, based on their function and predicted biochemical activity. Intriguingly, a number of proteins harbor changes in the amino acid sequence at residues, that from structural elucidation, are critical for catalytic activity. Such proteins have been categorized as ‘pseudoenzymes’. Here, we review the role of the pseudokinase (or kinase-homology) domain in receptor guanylyl cyclases. These are multidomain single-pass, transmembrane proteins harboring an extracellular ligand-binding domain, and an intracellular domain composed of a kinase-homology domain that regulates the activity of the associated guanylyl cyclase domain. Mutations that lie in the kinase-homology domain of these receptors are associated with human disease, and either abolish or enhance cGMP production by these receptors to alter downstream signaling events. This raises the interesting possibility that one could identify molecules that bind to the pseudokinase domain and regulate the activities of these receptors, in order to alleviate symptoms in patients harboring these mutations.

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