14-3-3 proteins are a family of conserved regulatory molecules that are expressed in all eukaryotic cells. 14-3-3 proteins have the ability to bind a multitude of functionally diverse signaling proteins, including kinases, phosphatases, and transmembrane receptors. More than 200 signaling proteins have been reported as 14-3-3 ligands.
The name 14-3-3 refers to the particular elution and migration pattern of these proteins on DEAE-cellulose chromatography and starch-gel electrophoresis. The 14-3-3 proteins eluted in the 14th fraction of bovine brain homogenate and were found on positions 3.3 of subsequent electrophoresis by Moore and Perez (1967).
Elevated amounts of 14-3-3 proteins are found in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease.