Essential Concepts Cell Signaling 1. All cells are equipped with elaborate systems for receiving signals from their environment. The mechanisms involved in cell signaling are particularly crucial for understanding multi-cellular organisms, and are an important in many diseases. Signaling systems are providing new targets for treating disease. 2. Cells receive signals from their environment (light, odor, sound, nutrients) and other cells (divide, differentiate, migrate, transmit signals). 3. Signaling involves a receptor, the transduction of information from the cell surface to inside the cell, and subcellular systems that make a response. 4. Receptors are proteins with specific binding sites for signaling molecules called ligands . Membrane soluble ligands include steroid hormones (estrogen) which bind to cytoplasmic receptors. Most other signaling molecules (peptides, proteins, gases, ions, nucleotides) bind to integral membrane proteins. 5.
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