The coordination of life in multicellular organisms is precisely controlled by cells via various internal and external signals. Cells depend on different types of signals to regulate their growth, division, metabolism as well as death. Signals are growth factors or hormones produced and secreted by other cells. Some signals such as nutrients are in the form of molecules from the environment. Signaling molecules are sensed by direct binding to specific receptor molecules. Depending on the biochemical properties and ways of molecules changes, we can group various signaling events in defined pathways. Throughout specific signal transduction pathways, a signal can modulate cellular activities and gene expression, thereby leading to changes in cell growth, metabolism, differentiation, or many other cellular functions. When genetic mutations or biochemical changes occur in key proteins of certain cellular signaling pathways, cellular homeostasis can be disrupted, thus triggering tissue malfunctions, itiation or spread of cancer, or developmental anomalies. Dissecting biochemical principles of these cell signaling pathways is essential for us to better understand mechanisms of both normal cells and pathological conditions, therefore our knowledge on signal transduction will provide valuable information to develop effective therapeutic agents to fight against diseases..
Basic Principles of Cell SignalingKorea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology(KAIST)
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