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

A protein that enables smell in ants—and stops cell death

While smell plays a considerable role in the social interactions of humans—for instance, signaling fear or generating closeness—for ants, it is vitally important. Researchers from New York University and the University ...

Researchers discover how we perceive bitter taste

Humans can sense five different tastes: sour, sweet, umami, bitter, and salty, using specialized sensors on our tongues called taste receptors. Other than allowing us to enjoy delicious foods, the sensation of taste allows ...

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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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