Kinases are a type of enzyme that transfers phosphate groups from high-energy donor molecules to a lower energy receptor molecule.

Kinases are used extensively by cells to transmit signals and control complex processes in cells.  For example the ALK kinase can transfer a phosphate group to other kinases (like P13K, RAS, or STAT 3) and in the process transmit a signal downstream through its signal pathway to the nucleus where the expression of different genes are controled (increased or decreased) depending on the type of signal. Thus kinases can cause a cell to grow, split, and survive (which when overdone can become cancerous).

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