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Enzyme Research
Volume 2011, Article ID 329098, 26 pages
Review Article

Protein Kinases and Phosphatases in the Control of Cell Fate

Section of General Pathology, Department of Experimental and Diagnostic Medicine, Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Inflammation (ICSI) and LTTA Center, University of Ferrara, 44100 Ferrara, Italy

Received 15 March 2011; Revised 6 May 2011; Accepted 8 June 2011

Academic Editor: Heung Chin Cheng

Copyright © 2011 Angela Bononi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Protein phosphorylation controls many aspects of cell fate and is often deregulated in pathological conditions. Several recent findings have provided an intriguing insight into the spatial regulation of protein phosphorylation across different subcellular compartments and how this can be finely orchestrated by specific kinases and phosphatases. In this review, the focus will be placed on (i) the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway, specifically on the kinases Akt and mTOR and on the phosphatases PP2a and PTEN, and on (ii) the PKC family of serine/threonine kinases. We will look at general aspects of cell physiology controlled by these kinases and phosphatases, highlighting the signalling pathways that drive cell division, proliferation, and apoptosis.