The Open University since 2006
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Exodus: Our Journey To Europe: EPISODE 3Friday, 29th July 2016 00:45 - BBC Two21 year old Alaigie is preparing to leave Gambia to travel “the back way” 6000 kilometres to Italy to find work. Read more: Exodus: Our Journey To Europe: EPISODE 3
More or Less: Waitrose, EU Ref, Antiques Roadshow and Computer Science and SocksFriday, 29th July 2016 16:30 - BBC Radio 4
More or Less: Waitrose, EU Ref, Antiques Roadshow and Computer Science and SocksSunday, 31st July 2016 20:00 - BBC Radio 4
Full Steam Ahead: Episode oneTuesday, 2nd August 2016 01:35 - BBC Two
Exodus: Our Journey To Europe: EPISODE 3Available until Sunday, 28th August 2016 01:4521 year old Alaigie is preparing to leave Gambia to travel “the back way” 6000 kilometres to Italy to find work. Read more: Exodus: Our Journey To Europe: EPISODE 3
Managing virtual project teamsMany projects are now ‘virtual’, i.e. some or all of the team are located remotely and may be... Try: Managing virtual project teams now
English: skills for learningEnglish: skills for learning, is a free course for anybody who is thinking of studying for a... Try: English: skills for learning now
This free course, Cell signalling, 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.
After studying this course, 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.
- 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
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. 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 OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 3 study in.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Science, Maths & Technology courses or view the range of currently available OU Science, Maths & Technology courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 24th March 2016
Last updated on: Thursday, 24th March 2016
- 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 and our FAQs 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.
All our alternative formats are free for you to download, for more information about the different formats we offer please see our FAQs. The most frequently used are Word (for accessibility), PDF (for print) and ePub and Kindle to download to eReaders*.
- Word (3.3 MB)
- PDF (1.8 MB)
- ePub 3.0 (2.1 MB)
- ePub 2.0 (2.1 MB)
- Kindle (1.7 MB)
- RSS (502 KB)
- HTML (2.2 MB)
- SCORM (2.2 MB)
- OUXML Package (58 KB)
- OUXML File (207 KB)
- IMS Common cartridge
*Please note you will need an ePub and Mobi reader for these formats.