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

Shapeshifting receptors may explain mysterious drug failures

For sugar to taste sweet and for coffee to be stimulating, or even for light to be seen, first they all need to land on a G protein-coupled receptor. Ubiquitous and diverse, these receptors are a cell's chemical detection ...

Vampire bats help unravel the mystery of smell

The sense of smell is one of the most poorly understood of the five major senses. But now an international team of scientists led by Laurel Yohe of Stony Brook University suggests a new method to quantify olfactory receptors ...

How plants measure their carbon dioxide uptake

When water is scarce, plants can close their pores to prevent losing too much water. This allows them to survive even longer periods of drought, but with the majority of pores closed, carbon dioxide uptake is also limited, ...

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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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