In biochemistry, signal transduction is the "intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the gamma-aminobutyric acid-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway."
In signal transduction, cell surface receptors may activate second messenger systems such as adenyl cyclase-cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP which then may activate protein kinases which then affect downstream targets (see figure).
Second messenger systems
These second messengers may activate protein kinases who then activate downstream targets.
- Anonymous (2015), Signal transduction (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
- Lodish, Harvey F. (1999). “20.1. Overview of Extracellular Signaling”, Molecular cell biology. New York: Scientific American Books. ISBN 0-7167-3136-3.
- Anonymous (2015), synaptic transmission (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.