Related topics: cells · protein · brain · molecules · nerve cells

Scientists discover a new class of taste receptors

Evolution is a tinkerer, not an engineer. "Evolution does not produce novelties from scratch. It works with what already exists," wrote Nobel laureate François Jacob in 1977, and biologists continue to find this to be true.

New molecular probes for opioid receptors

Strong painkillers are very important in the management of patients with cancer and heart attack or requiring surgery. They extert their effect by binding to so-called opioid receptors in the body.

Insulin signaling suppressed by decoys

In a discovery that may further the understanding of diabetes and human longevity, scientists at Scripps Research have found a new biological mechanism of insulin signaling. Their study, involving the roundworm C. elegans, ...

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Receptor (biochemistry)

In biochemistry, a receptor is a protein molecule, embedded in either the plasma membrane or cytoplasm of a cell, to which a mobile signaling (or "signal") molecule may attach. A molecule which binds to a receptor is called a "ligand," and may be a peptide (such as a neurotransmitter), a hormone, a pharmaceutical drug, or a toxin, and when such binding occurs, the receptor undergoes a conformational change which ordinarily initiates a cellular response. However, some ligands merely block receptors without inducing any response (e.g. antagonists). Ligand-induced changes in receptors result in physiological changes which constitute the biological activity of the ligands.

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