Signal transduction

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Signal Transduction is 'the cascade of processes by which an extracellular signal (typically a hormone or neurotransmitter) interacts with a receptor at the cell surface, causing a change in the level of a second messenger (for example cAMP) and ultimately effects a change in the cells functioning' [1].

An example of signal transduction is insulin. If there is a high blood sugar level insulin is released from the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone and acts as an extracellular signal. This signal, when it reaches cells, stimulates the uptake of glucose so glucose is therefore removed from the blood. People who have diabetes suffer from a insulin deficiency. Therefore they are more prone to a high blood sugar level as the cells don't recieve the signal to take up the glucose and store it as glycogen [2].

References

  1. Biology Online, (2007). Signal Transduction. [online] Available at: http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Signal_transduction
  2. Sonksen, J. and Sonksen, P. British Journal of Anaesthesia, (2000).Insulin: understanding its actions in health and disease. [online] Available at: http://bja.oxfordjournals.org/content/85/1/69.full
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