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

Exploring the limits of G protein-coupled receptors

How do signals from outside the cell cause a response inside it? Such outside signals could be hormones or neurotransmitters. To notice them, the cell's surface possesses receptors. One of the key classes of such receptors ...

Researchers crack 30-year-old mystery of odor switching in worms

Soil-dwelling nematodes depend on their sophisticated sense of smell for survival, able to distinguish between more than a thousand different scents—but the molecular mechanism behind their olfaction has baffled scientists ...

Taste sensors keep proteins in order in flies

A set of genes that promote sweet taste sensation is also crucial for protein management during fly development, according to a new study by Eugenia Piddini of the University of Bristol, United Kingdom, and colleagues, publishing ...

Scientists hijack bacteria to ease drug manufacturing

For more affordable, sustainable drug options than we have today, the medication we take to treat high blood pressure, pain or memory loss may one day come from engineered bacteria, cultured in a vat like yogurt. And thanks ...

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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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