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signal transduction

Thursday 19 January 2006

signal-transduction networks


Definition: Signal transduction is the process by which a chemical or physical signal is transmitted through a cell as a series of molecular events, most commonly protein phosphorylation catalysed by protein kinases, which ultimately results in a cellular response.

Proteins responsible for detecting stimuli are generally termed receptors, although in some cases the term sensor is used. The changes elicited by ligand binding (or signal sensing) in a receptor give rise to a signaling cascade (or signaling pathways ), which is a chain of biochemical events forming signaling pathways.

When signaling pathways interact with one another they form molecular networks , which allow cellular responses to be coordinated, often by combinatorial signaling events.

At the molecular level, such responses include changes in the transcription or translation of genes, and post-translational and conformational changes in proteins, as well as changes in their location.

These molecular events are the basic mechanisms controlling cell growth, proliferation, metabolism and many other processes.

In multicellular organisms, signal transduction pathways have evolved to regulate cell communication in a wide variety of ways.

See also

- membrane receptors
- signaling pathways


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- Janes KA, Yaffe MB. Data-driven modelling of signal-transduction networks. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2006 Nov;7(11):820-8. PMID: 17057752

- Helfand BT, Chou YH, Shumaker DK, Goldman RD. Intermediate filament proteins participate in signal transduction. Trends Cell Biol. 2005 Nov;15(11):568-70. PMID: 16213139