How Inorganic Compounds Impact the Functionality of Signaling Pathways in Mammalian Cells

How Inorganic Compounds Impact the Functionality of Signaling Pathways in Mammalian Cells

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Signals are an object present in everyday life. Signals don’t just come in forms of traffic lights and signs. Signals happen on the molecular level every second. Signals can tell organisms’ cells to grow, feed, expel waste, move, undergo mitosis, or even die. These signals mystified people for the longest time. However, Earl W. Sutherland’s experiment gave humanity clarity on the matter (Urry 109). Sutherland was investigating the process by which the hormone epinephrine, or adrenaline, causes the breakdown of glycogen, a sugar, in liver and skeletal muscle cells (Urry 109). He discovered epinephrine never enters the cell (Urry 109). This allowed for the frame of mind that was needed to discover the mechanism of signaling pathways (Urry 109). Signals are transported, generally, in the form of a ligand (Urry 109). A ligand is similar to a key that fits in a lock. A ligand’s technical definition is a molecule that often binds to a larger molecule (Urry 109). Each and every receptor protein, a specially designed protein used to transmit a signal throughout the cell, is made to accept only one ligand at its active site (Urry 109). An active site is the area where the ligand binds, and ligand binding usually results in the receptor protein changing shape (Urry 109). A receptor protein must be activated before it can transmit a signal, and in order for a receptor protein to be activated the ligand must bind to the active site (Urry 109). Because of the sheer number of different ligands, there are a large number of different receptor proteins. However, most receptor proteins can be categorized into one of the following types: G protein-coupled receptors, ligand-gated ion channels, peripheral, or transmembrane (Urry 109). G protein-couple...


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...e universe are imprinted on the cells of your body” (1).



Works Cited

Schlessiger, Avner, Ethan Geier, and Andrej Sali. "Structure-base Discovery of Prescription Drugs That Interact with the Norepinephrine Transporter, NET." PMC. PNAS, 1 Sept. 2011. Web. 7 Apr. 2014.
Urry, Lisa A. Campbell Biology in Focus. Boston: Pearson, 2014. Print.
Mitema, E.s. "Improved Management of Drugs, Hormones and Pesticides in Africa : Policy and Trade Issues." Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research 76.1 (2009): n. pag. Print.
Guinta, Melissa. “Sabotage of the Cell Signal.” Diss. NIH Curriculum, 2012. Web.
Berg, Jeremy M., John L. Tymoczko, Lubert Stryer, and Lubert Stryer. "Signal-Transduction Pathways: An Introduction to Information Metabolism."Biochemistry. New York: W.H. Freeman, 2002. N. pag. Print.
Millian, Dan. “Cell Quotes.” BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.

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