Secondary messenger

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Secondary messengers function as a means of intracellular cell signalling between cell surface receptors and the cell interior, and are hence also referred to as small intracellular mediators. Upon activation of the of the cell surface receptor these messengers are generated in large numbers and diffuse away from the source. These messengers allow the signal to be transduced and amplified. Multiple amplification steps are referred to as a signalling cascade. Examples of secondary messengers include cAMP and Ca2+ [1]


  1. Alberts et al., 2008, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5th ed. NY: Garland Science
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