Communication and cell signalling

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  • Created by: Steff06
  • Created on: 04-04-16 12:57
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  • Communication and cell signalling
    • In order to detect signals, cells must have sensors on their surface capable of receiving signals. These sensors are known as RECEPTORS.
    • Hormone receptors:
      • Hormones are CHEMICAL MESSENGERS, produced in specific tissue and released into an organism. Any cell with a receptor for a hormone molecules is called a TARGET CELL.
      • A hormone molecule binds to a RECEPTOR on a target cell surface membrane, because the 2 have COMPLEMENTARY shapes. Binding causes the target cell to RESPOND in a certain way.
    • The insulin receptor:
      • Insulin is a protein molecule that attaches to the insulin receptors on the plasma membrane of many cells e.g. MUSCLE and LIVER cells.
      • When insulin attaches to its receptor, it triggers internal responses in muscle cells that lead to MORE GLUCOSE channels being present in the plasma membrane which allows the cell to take up more glucose and reduces blood glucose level.
    • Medicinal drugs - interfering with drugs:
      • Medicinal drugs have been developed that are complementary to the shape of a type of a receptor molecule. These drugs are intended to BLOCK RECEPTORS
        • E.g. Beta-blockers are used to prevent heart muscle from increasing heart rate to a dangerous level.
    • Hijacking receptors:
      • Viruses enter cells by binding with RECEPTORS on cell surface membrane that normally bind to host's signalling molecules.
        • E.g. HIV enters cells of IMMUNE SYSTEM with a complementary shape to a receptor.
      • Some POISONS also bind with receptors
        • E.g. Clostridium botulinum binds with receptors and causes paralysis - used in Botox.


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