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Cell signaling

Cell signaling can best be defined as the process of cells communicating with each other and within the cell. The three stages of cell signaling are reception, transduction, and response. Some different ways cells receive signals are through G-proteins, ligands, tyrosine-kinase, and steroids and hormones. All of these involve the phospholipid bilayer and its protein. These communication mechanisms depend heavily on extracellular signal molecules, which are produced by the cells to signal to their neighbors or to cells further away. The signal molecules are mainly proteins. These proteins include cell-surface receptor proteins, which bind the signal molecule, plus a variety of intracellular signaling proteins that distribute the signal to appropriate parts of the cell.

Stages of cell signaling


The three stages of cell signaling. 1. Signal reception - changes the receptor molecule in some way. Molecules that activate receptors can be classified as hormones, neurotransmitters, cytokines, and growth factors, but all of these are called receptor ligands. 2. Signal transduction - moves signal to inside of cell, and converts it to a form the cell can actually respond to a. this is the signal transduction pathway b. molecules in the pathway are often called relay molecules 3. Cellular response - Specific cellular response may be almost anything imaginable a. movement of cytoskeleton b. activation of specific genes in nucleus c. anabolic or catabolic rearrangement of molecules etc.

Secreted Molecules Mediate Three Forms of Signaling: Paracrine, Synaptic, and Endocrine
Paracrine Signaling: Signal molecules released to local cells. It depends on signals that are released into the extracellular space and act locally on neighboring cells. Cells can communicate with cells in the immediate environment. It is especially important in the local immune response. Growth factor and clotting factors are paracrine signalling agents. Synaptic Signaling: Signal molecules released to close neighboring cell. It is performed by neurons that transmit signals electrically along their axons and release neurotransmitters at synapses, which are often located far away from the body. Endocrine Signaling: Signal molecules released into circulatory system and signaling is done at a distance. It occurs through the presence of hormones. Hormones are biologically active substances which are secreted into the bloodstream. It depends on endocrine cells which secrete hormones into the bloodstream that are then distributed widely throughout the body.

Cell-Surface Receptor Proteins


Cell surface receptors (membrane receptors, transmembrane receptors) are specialized integral membrane proteins that take part in communication between the cell and the outside world. Extracellular signaling molecules (usually hormones, neurotransmitters, cytokines, growth factors or cell recognition molecules) attach to the receptor, triggering changes in the function of the cell. This process is called signal transduction. The binding initiates a chemical change on the intracellular side of the membrane. Based on structural and functional similarities, membrane receptors are mainly divided into 3 classes: The ion channellinked receptor; The enzyme-linked receptor and G protein-coupled receptor. Ion channel linked receptors are ion-channels (including cation-channels and anion-channels) themselves and constitute a large family of multipass transmembrane proteins. They are involved in rapid signaling events most generally found in electrically excitable cells such as neurons and are also called ligand-gated ion channels. Opening and closing of Ion channels are controlled by neurotransmitters. These channels are protein pores in the plasma membrane that open or close in response to the binding of a chemical signal, allowing or blocking the flow of specific ions, such as Na+ or Ca2+ into the cell. Often the change in the concentration of a particular ion inside the cell directly affects cell function. G-protein-linked receptors act indirectly to regulate the activity of a separate plasma-membrane-bound target protein, which can be an enzyme or an ion channel. The interaction between the receptor and the target protein is mediated by a third protein, called a G protein. G proteins (guanine nucleotide-binding proteins) are a family of proteins involved in transmitting chemical signals outside the cell, and causing changes inside the cell. They communicate signals from many hormones, neurotransmitters, and other signaling factors. The activation of the target protein either alters the concentration of one or more intracellular mediators (if the target protein is an enzyme) or alters the ion permeability of the plasma membrane (if the target protein is an ion channel). The intracellular mediators act in turn to alter the behavior of yet other proteins in the cell. All of the G-protein-linked receptors belong to a large superfamily of homologous, seven-pass transmembrane proteins. An enzyme-linked receptor also known as a catalytic receptor is a transmembrane receptor, where the binding of an extracellular ligand causes enzymatic activity on the intracellular side. Hence a catalytic receptor is an integral membrane protein possessing both enzymatic catalytic and receptor functions. They have two important domains, an extra-cellular ligand binding domain and an intracellular domain, which has a Catalytic function; and a transmembrane helix. The signaling molecule binds to the receptor outside of the cell and causes a conformational change on the Catalytic function located on the receptor inside of the cell. Example: Receptor tyrosine kinase as in fibroblast growth factor receptor.

There Are Three Known Classes of Cell-Surface Receptor Proteins: IonChannel-linked, G-Protein-linked, and Enzyme-linked

Ion channel linked receptor

Ion channel receptors 1. ligand gated ion channel 2. part of receptor acts as a gate when ligand binds to it

Ion channel linked receptor

G - Protein linked receptor

G proteins function as molecular switches. When they bind guanosine triphosphate (GTP), they are 'on', and, when they bind guanosine diphosphate (GDP), they are 'off'. G proteins regulate metabolic enzymes, ion channels, transporters, and other parts of the cell machinery, controlling transcription, motility, contractility, and secretion, which in turn regulate systemic functions such as embryonic development, learning and memory, and homeostasis. Human vision and smell require these receptors.

Enzyme linked receptor