Biology - Cell Signalling

This document is all about cell signalling, it was a homework task. It is based on the OCR specification for AS Biology. Happy revising! =P

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  • Created on: 12-01-13 23:09
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Reianna Shakil L6EFBiology9/11/12
Cell signalling
A cell must stay in contact with its environment and with other cells in order
to survive.
Cells must be able to react to change in their environment. In a multicellular
organism, cells in one part of the body must be able to communicate with
cells in other parts.
A cell therefore needs to be able to pick up `signals' at its surface to which it
may need to respond.
Signals arrive at the plasma membrane from outside the cell as particular
substances ­ for example, a hormone ­ or change in electrical potential ­ as
happens in nerve impulses.
A receptor signals, and brings about actions within a cell. The process is
known as cell signalling.
Cell signalling has potential implications for medicine.
For example, who do liver cells in some people not respond to insulin as
they should? (This is the cause of type 2 diabetes). Why do cancer cells not
respond to signals that should stop them dividing?
Answers to these questions may help to bring about cures or treatments for
these and other diseases.
Mechanism of cell signalling

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Reianna Shakil L6EFBiology9/11/12
Figure 2.5 shows three different ways in which cell signalling can occur. In Figure 2.5a, the
signal is a chemical that attaches to a protein or glycoprotein acting as an ion channel. When
the chemical attaches to the receptor, it makes the channel open and let ions into the cell,
bringing about a response.
Figure 2.5b shows a slightly more complex mechanism of cell signalling. Here, the receptor in
the plasma membrane interacts with another molecule, a G-protein.…read more


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