Ligand

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A small molecule or ion that binds to a protein or other structure. Ligand binding can cause a conformational change in the shape of a protein, which can lead to the regulation of protein activity[1]. Binding of ligands to ligand-gated ion channels mediates synaptic transmission. The specificity and affinity of a protein for a ligand depends on the structure of the ligand-binding site[2]. For reactions to occur, the shape and chemical properties of the binding site must be complementary to that of the ligand molecule - this is known as molecular complementarity[3]. An example of protein-ligand binding is that of antibodies binding to antigens[4].

References

  1. Lodish H, Kaiser CA, Bretcher A, Amon A, Berk A, Kneger M, Ploegh H, Scott MP. Molecular Cell Biology. 7th Ed, New York: W.H. Freeman and Company. 2013.
  2. Lodish H, Kaiser CA, Bretcher A, Amon A, Berk A, Kneger M, Ploegh H, Scott MP. Molecular Cell Biology. 7th Ed, New York: W.H. Freeman and Company. 2013.
  3. Lodish H, Kaiser CA, Bretcher A, Amon A, Berk A, Kneger M, Ploegh H, Scott MP. Molecular Cell Biology. 7th Ed, New York: W.H. Freeman and Company. 2013.
  4. Lodish H, Kaiser CA, Bretcher A, Amon A, Berk A, Kneger M, Ploegh H, Scott MP. Molecular Cell Biology. 7th Ed, New York: W.H. Freeman and Company. 2013.
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