Fischer and Krebs made their discoveries in the mid-1950s while studying
reversible phosphorylation --i.e., the attachment or detachment of phosphate
groups to cell proteins. The two men were the first to purify and characterize
one of the enzymes (phosphorylase) involved in the process of phosphorylation.
They also discovered the enzymes that catalyze the attachment and detachment
of phosphate groups, known as protein kinases and phosphatase, respectively.
In the decades following these initial discoveries, scientists were
able to identify many other enzymes that regulate specific processes
in cells, leading to explanations of the mechanisms controlling basic
activities in all living cells.
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