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The Cell: A Molecular Approach

Cell signalling can happen by direct interaction with a cell or with the help of signalling molecules that are secreted out by cell. Transmission of the information in between the cells of the body is performed by various kinds of molecules. These molecules vary with the systems of the body. The first type of signalling molecules is steroid hormones which include vitamin D3, retinoic acid and thyroid hormone. Other than this, nitric oxide also acts as signalling molecules in circulatory, nervous and immune system and carbon monoxide functions in the nervous system. Neurotransmitters also carry information from one neuron to another. Examples of neurotransmitter are histamine, dopamine, glycine and so on. Peptide hormones, growth factors and eicosanoids are also signalling molecules (Cooper, 2018).

Protein kinases are a group of enzymes which regulate the bodily functions by bringing conformational changes in the protein's structure. The enzymes perform phosphorylation of amino acids with the help of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which acts as the source of phosphate. By doing so, changes in the protein structure happen and they are transformed into an active protein from their inactive form. Protein kinase C (PKC) and protein kinase A (PKA) are both protein kinase enzymes and thus perform phosphorylation of specific amino acids. The difference between PKC and PKA is that PKC is activated by the molecules such as diglycerol and calcium ions whereas PKA is activated by the association of cyclic AMP (cAMP) (Castañeda-Bueno et al., 2017).

References for Cell Signalling Molecules

Castañeda-Bueno, M., Arroyo, J. P., Zhang, J., Puthumana, J., Yarborough, O., Shibata, S., ...&Lifton, R. P. (2017). Phosphorylation by PKC and PKA regulate the kinase activity and downstream signalling of WNK4. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(5), E879-E886.https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1620315114

Cooper, G. M. (2018). The Cell: A Molecular Approach. Oxford University Press: Oxford, United Kingdom.

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