Multisite phosphorylation provides sophisticated regulation of transcription factors

Carina I Holmberg, Stefanie E F Tran, John E Eriksson, Lea Sistonen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Article or Literature Reviewpeer-review

247 Citations (Scopus)


Reversible phosphorylation is a prevalent mechanism by which the activity of eukaryotic transcription factors is regulated rapidly in response to changes in the cellular environment. Accumulated evidence has expanded the concept of phosphorylation to a process that provides dynamic and precise tuning of the transactivating potential of a factor, rather than being a static on/off switch. In the case of transcription factors such as heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), p53 and nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT), multisite phosphorylation enables several effects to operate within a single factor, thereby functioning as a key to signal integration. Studies on these transcription factors illustrate recent progress in solving the dynamic nature of transcriptional regulation by multisite phosphorylation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-27
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Biochemical Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism
  • Humans
  • NFATC Transcription Factors
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Transcription Factors/chemistry
  • Transcriptional Activation


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