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

Nanoscopic protein motion on a live cell membrane

Cellular functions are dictated by the intricate motion of proteins in membranes that span across a scale of nanometers to micrometers, within a time-frame of microseconds to minutes. However, this rich parameter of space ...

Study reveals how smell receptors work

All senses must reckon with the richness of the world, but nothing matches the challenge faced by the olfactory system that underlies our sense of smell. We need only three receptors in our eyes to sense all the colors of ...

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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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