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Signal Transduction: 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.

Cell-surface Signaling

JoVE 10877

Hormones—or any molecule that binds to a receptor, known as a ligand—that are lipid-insoluble (water-soluble) are not able to diffuse across the cell membrane. In order to be able to affect a cell without entering it, these hormones bind to receptors on the cell membrane. When a first messenger, a hormone, binds to a receptor, a signal cascade is set off, causing second messengers, proteins inside the cell, to become activated, resulting in downstream effects. Cell membrane receptors have three portions: an external ligand-binding domain, a transmembrane domain, and an internal domain. There are three categories of cell membrane receptors based on the consistency of the structure and function of these domains within each category. One category is ligand-gated ion channels which, when bound to a ligand, undergo a conformational change, allowing ions through a channel formed by the transmembrane portion of the receptor. A second category is G-proteins-coupled receptors which have a distinct structure with seven transmembrane domains. Binding of the external domain to a ligand causes the alpha subunit, one of three subunits attached to the internal portion of the receptor, to disassociate from the receptor and create a cellular response. The third category of receptors, the enzyme-linked receptor—also called catalytic receptor

 Core: Endocrine System

What is Cell Signaling?

JoVE 10985

Despite the protective membrane that separates a cell from the environment, cells need the ability to detect and respond to environmental changes. Additionally, cells often need to communicate with one another. Unicellular and multicellular organisms use a variety of cell signaling mechanisms to communicate to respond to the environment.

Cells respond to many types of information, often through receptor proteins positioned on the membrane. For example, skin cells respond to and transmit touch information, while photoreceptors in the retina can detect light. Most cells, however, have evolved to respond to chemical signals, including hormones, neurotransmitters, and many other types of signaling molecules. Cells can even coordinate different responses elicited by the same signaling molecule. Typically, cell signaling involves three steps: (1) reception of the signal, (2) signal transduction, and (3) a response. In most signal reception, a membrane-impermeable molecule, or ligand, causes a change in a membrane receptor; however, some signaling molecules, such as hormones, can traverse the membrane to reach their internal receptors. The membrane receptor can then send this signal to intracellular messengers, which transduces the message into a cellular response. This intracellular response may include a change transcription, translation, protein activation, or many

 Core: Cell Signaling

Receptor-mediated Endocytosis

JoVE 10708

Receptor-mediated endocytosis is a process through which bulk amounts of specific molecules can be imported into a cell after binding to cell surface receptors. The molecules bound to these receptors are taken into the cell through inward folding of the cell surface membrane, which is eventually pinched off into a vesicle within the cell. Structural proteins, such as clathrin, coat the budding vesicle and give it its round form. One well-characterized example of receptor-mediated endocytosis is the transport of low-density lipoproteins (LDL cholesterol) into the cell. LDL binds to transmembrane receptors on the cell membrane. Adapter proteins allow clathrin to attach to the inner surface of the membrane. These protein complexes bend the membrane inward, creating a clathrin-coated vesicle inside the cell. The neck of the endocytic vesicle is pinched off from the membrane by a complex of the protein dynamin and other accessory proteins. The endocytic vesicle fuses with an early endosome, and the LDL dissociates from the receptor proteins due to a lower pH environment. Empty receptor proteins are separated into transport vesicles to be re-inserted into the outer cell membrane. LDL remains in the endosome, which binds with a lysosome. The lysosome provides digestive enzymes that break up LDL into free cholesterol that can be used by the cell. There ar

 Core: Membranes and Cellular Transport

RNA Splicing

JoVE 10802

The process in which eukaryotic RNA is edited prior to protein translation is called splicing. It removes regions that do not code for proteins and patches the protein-coding regions together. Splicing also allows several protein variants to be expressed from a single gene and plays an essential role in development, tissue differentiation, and adaptation to environmental stress. Errors in splicing can lead to diseases such as cancer. The RNA strand transcribed from eukaryotic DNA is called the primary transcript. The primary transcripts designated to become mRNA are called precursor messenger RNA (pre-mRNA). The pre-mRNA is then processed to form mature mRNA that is suitable for protein translation. Eukaryotic pre-mRNA contains alternating sequences of exons and introns. Exons are nucleotide sequences that code for proteins whereas introns are the non-coding regions. RNA splicing is the process by which introns are removed and exons patched together. Splicing is mediated by the spliceosome—a complex of proteins and RNA called small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs). The spliceosome recognizes specific nucleotide sequences at exon/intron boundaries. First, it binds to a GU-containing sequence at the 5’ end of the intron and to a branch point sequence containing an A towards the 3’ end of the intron. In a number of carefully-orches

 Core: Gene Expression

Enzyme-linked Receptors

JoVE 10723

Enzyme-linked receptors are proteins which act as both receptor and enzyme, activating multiple intracellular signals. This is a large group of receptors that include the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) family. Many growth factors and hormones bind to and activate the RTKs.

RTKs are also called neurotrophin (NT) receptors because they bind nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), NT-3, NT-4/5, NT-6, and NT-7. The growth factors typically bind to an RTK subfamily of tropomyosin-related kinase receptors (Trk): Trk A, Trk B, and Trk C. Trk A is specific for NGF, NT-6, and NT-7. Trk B binds BDNF and NT-4/5, while Trk C is specific for NT-3. NT-3 can also bind with low affinity to Trk A and TrkB. The Trk receptors have a single transmembrane domain, with a growth factor binding site on the extracellular portion and an enzyme activation site intracellularly. Trk receptors can be monomeric or dimerized, where two Trk receptors are bound together. To activate the receptor, a single growth factor molecule either binds two monomeric receptors, causing them to dimerize, or it binds both sites on a pre-dimerized receptor. Once the receptors are bound, the tyrosines phosphorylate by pulling phosphates from ATP and donating them to each other, a process called “autophosphorylation.” This opens docking sites along the i

 Core: Cell Signaling

Quantification of Protein Interaction Network Dynamics using Multiplexed Co-Immunoprecipitation

1Center for Integrative Brain Research, Seattle Children's Research Institute, 2Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of Washington, 3Department of Cancer Immunology and Virology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, 4Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, 5Department of Mathematics, University of Houston, 6Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of Missouri, 7Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Missouri, 8Department Bioengineering, College of Engineering, University of Missouri, 9Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington

JoVE 60029

 Biochemistry

Phosphopeptide Enrichment Coupled with Label-free Quantitative Mass Spectrometry to Investigate the Phosphoproteome in Prostate Cancer

1Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, School of Graduate Studies, Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey, 2Graduate Program in Quantitative Biomedicine, School of Graduate Studies, Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey, 3Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 4Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA Metabolomics Center, and California NanoSystems Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 5Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Southern California, 6Pharmacology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 7Cancer Metabolism and Growth Program, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

JoVE 57996

 Cancer Research

Genetic Engineering of Dictyostelium discoideum Cells Based on Selection and Growth on Bacteria

1MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, 2Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, 3Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute Glasgow, 4MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London, 5Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University College London

JoVE 58981

 Genetics

Adenofection: A Method for Studying the Role of Molecular Chaperones in Cellular Morphodynamics by Depletion-Rescue Experiments

1Département de biologie moléculaire, biochimie médicale et pathologie, Faculté de médecine, Centre de recherche sur le cancer de l'Université Laval, 2Oncology, Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec, Université Laval, 3Laboratoire d'études moléculaires des valvulopathies (LEMV), Groupe de recherche en valvulopathies (GRV), Quebec Heart and Lung Institute/Research Center, 4Department of Surgery, Université Laval

JoVE 54557

 Biology

In Vitro Recording of Mesenteric Afferent Nerve Activity in Mouse Jejunal and Colonic Segments

1Laboratory of Experimental Medicine and Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Antwerp, 2Visceral Pain Group, Discipline of Medicine, University of Adelaide, 3Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sheffield, 4Department of Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Postgraduate Medicine, University of Hertfordshire, 5Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Antwerp University Hospital

JoVE 54576

 Neuroscience

Light-mediated Reversible Modulation of the Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase Pathway during Cell Differentiation and Xenopus Embryonic Development

1Department of Biochemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2Department of Comparative Biosciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 3Neuroscience Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 4Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

JoVE 55823

 Developmental Biology

Fluorescence Biomembrane Force Probe: Concurrent Quantitation of Receptor-ligand Kinetics and Binding-induced Intracellular Signaling on a Single Cell

1Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 3Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney, 4Institute of Biophysics, Laboratory of RNA Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 5University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 6School of Medicine and Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, Zhejiang University

JoVE 52975

 Bioengineering

Identification of Intracellular Signaling Events Induced in Viable Cells by Interaction with Neighboring Cells Undergoing Apoptotic Cell Death

1Section of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2Section of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 3Department of Biology, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, 4Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, 5Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Illinois at Chicago

JoVE 54980

 Biology

Measuring Intracellular Ca2+ Changes in Human Sperm using Four Techniques: Conventional Fluorometry, Stopped Flow Fluorometry, Flow Cytometry and Single Cell Imaging

1Departamento de Genética del Desarrollo y Fisiología Molecular, Instituto de Biotecnología-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2Math and Sciences Department, Edison State College

JoVE 50344

 Biology

Multiplexed Fluorescent Immunohistochemical Staining, Imaging, and Analysis in Histological Samples of Lymphoma

1Department of Laboratory Medicine, AnSteel Group General Hospital, 2Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, National University of Singapore, 3Department of Pathology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 4Department of Haematology-Oncology, National University Health System

JoVE 58711

 Immunology and Infection
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