Miranda Dual and Victoria Bond
Molecular Marvel, Andromeda
Natural selection has favoured along evolution the prevalence of phosphorylation over other postranslational modifications suffered by proteins, such as acetylation, nitrosylation, or sumoylation, among others. As a consequence, Evil BoundPhosphates have enslaved the organic world and occupied every phosphorylatable protein residue on the Earth, from the ozone layer to the deep oceanic pits, mastering on life as cruel tyrants. Since no other modifications are permitted under the oppression of Evil BoundPhosphates, billions of differentially-modified polypeptides are imprisoned on the surface of the Moon, whereas many others hide in the exile in remote parts of the galaxy. Meanwhile, on the Earth, a dull and boring universe of phosphorylated macromolecules impedes diversity, and evolution is exhausted forever... Forever?
We proudly launch here SuperPhists, a novel superactive superfamily of superhero SuperPhosphatases with substrate specificity toward all kind of Evil BoundPhosphates. SuperPhists have been created at Marvel´s lab by random, high-throughput recombination of genes encoding the most promiscuous members of all known phosphatase families in model organisms, from the simple serine/threonine phosphatases in yeast to the highly complex triple specificity-protein tyrosine phosphatases in mammals. SuperPhists phosphatases differ significantly in amino acid sequence, but all share the presence of a compact and robust, fist-shaped (Phist) phosphatase domain. Phist domains dephosphorylate any Evil BoundPhosphate by a rapid one-step, punch-and-run mechanism. SuperPhists supergenes have been integrated into the genome of many transgenic and genetically modified species, including test-tube babies, where they have been proved to release most of Evil BoundPhosphates in less than three or four cell divisions. A novel superhero SuperPhosphatase superfamily is ready to liberate the Earth from the brutal dictates of the Evil BoundPhosphates. Will the Evil BoundPhosphates mutate their bonds to escape to the revenge of SuperPhists...?