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QUESTION

I am working with an Arabidopsis mutant with an F-box protein knocked out. It has been shown that F-box proteins targets must first be phosphorylated (Skowrya et al., 1997). I have heard of phosphorylation sites, but I can't find out whether every protein has them. Can any protein be phosphorylated?

{ asked by Richard Smith }

ANSWER

Phosphorylation can occur on specific amino acids only, what you have called phosporylation sites. These amino acids are Ser, Tyr, Asp, Thr and His. In theory any of these amino acids may be phosphorylated, but in reality it may not actually occur for a number of reasons. Some of these are because of the change in overall charge of the protein which can influence the 3D conformation, or the amino acids are not accessible to specific kinases, etc. If you ask for the purposes of doing a Western blot, then the antibody specification sheet should indicate whether a phosphorylated form exists and there should be a reference to the literature describing this modification.

{ answered by leonardo }
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