from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
The Bottom Line: Autumn 2015: Crisis at VW: A Bottom Line SpecialSaturday, 10th October 2015 17:30 - BBC Radio 4In this special episode of The Bottom Line, Evan Davis and his guests discuss the emissions scandal at Volkswagen. Read more: The Bottom Line: Autumn 2015: Crisis at VW: A Bottom Line Special
The Great British Year: SpringMonday, 12th October 2015 21:00 - BBC Four
The Secret Life of Books: Series Two: The Faerie QueeneTuesday, 13th October 2015 20:30 - BBC Four
The Secret Life of Books: Series Two: The Faerie QueeneWednesday, 14th October 2015 02:30 - BBC Four
The Great British Year: WinterAvailable until Friday, 6th November 2015 22:00A frozen nation, but not a wasteland... Read more: The Great British Year: Winter
The Bottom Line: Autumn 2015: Crisis at VW: A Bottom Line SpecialAvailable until Friday, 7th October 2016 20:00
The ascent of woman: RevolutionAvailable until Friday, 6th November 2015 02:15
The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 4Available until Friday, 6th November 2015 01:15
Should the Tories be worried about their low membership numbers?The Conservative Party are enjoying a moment of victory - but although their future should be... Read more: Should the Tories be worried about their low membership numbers?
OpenLearn Live: 8th October 2015Poetry day - and two villages that aren't there. Then more free learning across the day. Read more: OpenLearn Live: 8th October 2015
Start writing fiction: characters and storiesThis free course helps you to get started with your own fiction writing, focusing on the central... Try: Start writing fiction: characters and stories now
Succeed with maths – Part 1If you feel that maths is a mystery that you want to unravel then this short 8-week course is for... Try: Succeed with maths – Part 1 now
This unit explains the general principles of signal transduction and specifically, how...
This unit explains the general principles of signal transduction and specifically, how even the simplest organisms can detect and respond to events in their ever-changing environment.
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
- define and use each of the terms printed in bold in the text.
- understand the basic principles of signal transduction mechanisms, in particular the concepts of response specificity, signal amplitude and duration, signal integration and intracellular location;
- give examples of different types of extracellular signals and receptors, and explain their functional significance;
- describe the mechanisms by which different receptors may be activated by their respective ligands;
- describe and give examples of the structure and properties of the major components of signal transduction pathways;
- understand and give examples of the role of protein binding domains in the specific interactions between signalling molecules;
- understand and give examples of how signalling pathways triggered by different ligands are integrated within a cell to give a specific functional response.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 General principles of signal transduction
- 1.1 Introduction
- 1.2 Extracellular signals can act locally or at a distance
- 1.3 Most receptors are on the cell surface
- 1.4 Cellular responses are diverse
- 1.5 Signal transduction mechanisms
- 1.6 Signalling proteins can act as molecular switches
- 1.7 Localization of signalling proteins
- 1.8 Protein–protein interactions in signal transduction
- 1.9 Summary
- 2 Receptors and their ligands
- 3 Intracellular signalling components
- 3.1 Introduction
- 3.2 Trimeric G proteins
- 3.3 Lipid-modifying enzymes
- 3.4 Second messengers
- 3.5 Monomeric G proteins
- 3.6 Protein kinases
- 3.7 Protein phosphatases
- 3.8 Activation of transcription factors
- 3.9 Summary
- 4 Glucose metabolism: an example of integration of signalling pathways
- Next steps
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn and track your progress. Make your learning visible!
Even the simplest organisms can detect and respond to events in their ever-changing environment. Similarly, within a multicellular organism, cells are surrounded by an extracellular environment from which signals are received and responded to. Extracellular events are decoded and transmitted to relevant parts of individual cells by way of a series of activation/deactivation steps involving many intracellular molecules. This relay of information along molecular pathways is called signal transduction; it is sometimes also simply referred to as ‘signalling’.
The molecular models shown in this chapter were produced using the Brookhaven protein data base (pdb) files indicated in the figure legends. These files can be downloaded, viewed and manipulated using a suitable molecular viewing programme, such as Viewerlite tm.
This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course S377.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Monday, 8th July 2013
Last updated on: Monday, 8th July 2013
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.