Exploring the diversity of protein modifications: special bacterial phosphorylation systems.
In bacterial pathogenesis, monitoring and adapting to the dynamically changing environment in the host and an ability to disrupt host immune responses are critical. The virulence determinants of pathogenic bacteria include the sensor/signaling proteins of the serine/threonine protein kinase (STPK) family that have a dual role of sensing the environment and subverting specific host defense processes. STPKs can sense a wide range of signals and coordinate multiple cellular processes to mount an appropriate response. Here, we review some of the well studied bacterial STPKs that are essential virulence factors and that modify global host responses during infection.