The protein kinase-like clan/superfamily is a large group of regulatory, signaling and biosynthetic enzymes that were historically regarded as typically eukaryotic proteins, although bacterial members have also been known for a long time. In this review, we explore the diversity of bacterial protein kinase like families, and discuss functional versatility of these enzymes, both the ones acting within the bacterial cell, and those acting within eukaryotic cells as effectors during infection. We focus on novel bacterial kinase-like families discovered in the last five years. A bioinformatics perspective is held here, hence sequence and structure comparison overview is presented, and also a comparison of genomic neighbourhoods of the families. We perform a phylum-level census of the families. Also, we discuss apparent pseudokinases that turned out to perform alternative catalytic functions by repurposing their atypical kinase-like active sites. We also highlight some ‘unpopular’ kinase-like families that await characterisation.
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