Modes of Signaling & Signaling Pathways

In multicellular organisms, cells use many kinds of extracellular molecules to send signals and communicate with one another. All signal molecules act as ligands and that bind to receptors expressed by their target cells, there is noticeable variation in the structure and function of the various types of molecules that play as signal transmitters. Cells communicate with each other via direct contact  juxtacrine signaling, paracrine signaling, and endocrine signaling. Cell signaling can be divided to be mechanical and biochemical based on the type of the signal. Some cell–cell communication requires direct cell–cell contact. Some cells can form gap junctions that connect their cytoplasm  to the cytoplasm of adjacent cells. In cardiac muscle, gap junctions between adjacent cells provides for action potential  propagation from the cardiac pacemaker region of the heart to spread and coordinately cause contraction of the heart.

Signal transduction is the complex interaction of the activated receptor with other proteins inside the cell before the ultimate physiological effect of the ligand on the cell's behavior is produced. Some cell signaling pathways exits like Akt, NF-kB, and Notch signaling. GPCRs directly coupled to Gs leading to activation of adenylyl cyclase and subsequent production of cAMP and receptor tyrosine kinases indirectly linked to Ras protein leading to activation of MAP kinase. Stimulation of each class of receptor generally leads to production of multiple second messengers, and both classes of receptor promote or obstruct production of many of the same second messengers. By the Same token, the same cellular response may be induced by multiple signaling pathways. Cell signaling pathways modeling includes mechanistic and mathematical modeling. Complex multi-component signal transduction pathways add opportunities for feedback, signal amplification, and interactions inside one cell between multiple signals and signaling pathways.

  • Paracrine, endocrine and autocrine signaling
  • Direct signaling across gap junctions
  • Signaling pathways and cell surface receptors
  • Secondary messenger systems
  • Cell signaling pathway modeling

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