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The activation of adenylyl cyclase can result in the manufacture of hundreds or even thousands of cAMP molecules. These cAMP molecules activate the enzyme protein kinase A PKA , which then phosphorylates multiple protein substrates by attaching phosphate groups to them.

Signal transduction

Each step in the cascade further amplifies the initial signal, and the phosphorylation reactions mediate both short- and long-term responses in the cell Figure 2. How does cAMP stop signaling? It is degraded by the enzyme phosphodiesterase. Other examples of second messengers include diacylglycerol DAG and inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate IP3 , which are both produced by the enzyme phospholipase , also a membrane protein. The signal transduction cascade begins when adenylyl cyclase, a membrane- bound enzyme, is activated by G-protein molecules associated with the adrenergic receptor.

Adenylyl cyclase creates multiple cyclic AMP molecules, which fan out and activate protein kinases PKA, in this example. Protein kinases can enter the nucleus and affect transcription. Figure Detail. Within proteins, the amino acids serine, threonine, and tyrosine are especially common sites for phosphorylation. These phosphorylation reactions control the activity of many enzymes involved in intracellular signaling pathways.

Specifically, the addition of phosphate groups causes a conformational change in the enzymes, which can either activate or inhibit the enzyme activity. Then, when appropriate, protein phosphatases remove the phosphate groups from the enzymes, thereby reversing the effect on enzymatic activity. Phosphorylation allows for intricate control of protein function. Phosphate groups can be added to multiple sites in a single protein, and a single protein may in turn be the substrate for multiple kinases and phosphatases.

At any one time, a cell is receiving and responding to numerous signals, and multiple signal transduction pathways are operating in its cytoplasm.


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Many points of intersection exist among these pathways. For instance, a single second messenger or protein kinase might play a role in more than one pathway. Through this network of signaling pathways, the cell is constantly integrating all the information it receives from its external environment.

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Aa Aa Aa. Cell Signaling. In order to respond to changes in their immediate environment, cells must be able to receive and process signals that originate outside their borders. Individual cells often receive many signals simultaneously, and they then integrate the information they receive into a unified action plan. But cells aren't just targets.

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They also send out messages to other cells both near and far. How Do Cells Recognize Signals? An acetylcholine receptor green forms a gated ion channel in the plasma membrane. How Do Cells Respond to Signals? The binding of adrenaline to an adrenergic receptor initiates a cascade of reactions inside the cell. Cells typically receive signals in chemical form via various signaling molecules.

When a signaling molecule joins with an appropriate receptor on a cell surface, this binding triggers a chain of events that not only carries the signal to the cell interior, but amplifies it as well. Cells can also send signaling molecules to other cells.

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Sensory Transduction - Molecular Cell Biology - NCBI Bookshelf

Some of these chemical signals — including neurotransmitters — travel only a short distance, but others must go much farther to reach their targets. Cell Biology for Seminars, Unit 4. Topic rooms within Cell Biology Close. No topic rooms are there. Student Voices. Creature Cast. Simply Science.

How cells signal to each other

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Bio 2. The Success Code. Why Science Matters. Kenneth L. Poff, Donna R. Fontana, Bruce D. Microbial Geotaxis.

Signal relay pathways

Photosensory Responses in Freely Motile Microorganisms. Francesco Lenci, Donat-P. Chloroplast Movement. Back Matter Pages About this book Introduction The main purpose of this book is to unify approaches and ideas in the field of aneural sensory transduction. This field has recently come to the attention of several research groups in various disciplines, and their number seems to be growing.

Unfortunately, because of the diverse scientific backgrounds of the researchers in the field, the apparent heterogeneity of experimental techniques i.


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Actually, this heterogeneity is more apparent than real, and unifying concepts, approaches, and ideas already exist, particularly with respect to all the questions concerning the role of membranes and their properties such as ion permeability, electric potentials, and active transport in the various steps of sensory perception and transduction processes.