Cell Communication

In the human body there are many parts that work together in order for everything to function properly, but even these parts need to have a way to know what to do.This is where cell communication comes into play.Tiny cells in the body contain astounding networks that allow for this communication.Scientists are discovering why these messages from cell to cell are so efficient, and this could lead to new therapies for diseases.
In the past 15 years, scientists have discovered more of the code the cells use for their internal communications.Signal transmission begins when a messenger "docks" temporarily with a specific receptor on a recipient cell.This receptor is physically connected to the cytoplasm, and because of this is able to relay a message.The receptor is usually a protein that includes three domains: an external docking region for the messenger, a component that spans the cell's outer membrane, and a tail that extends into the cytoplasm.When the messenger binds to the external site, it generates a change in the shape of the tail.This eases the tail's interactions with the information-relaying molecules in the cytoplasm, which lead to more cellular signaling.
Through this knowledge, the question of how messages reached their destinations without being diverted along the way was aroused.Efforts began to identify thefirst cytoplasmic proteins that are contacted by activated (messenger-bound) receptors in a large and important family: the receptor tyrosine kinases.The receptors transmit the commands of hormones, which control replication, specialization, or metabolism of cells.
The binding of hormones to receptor tyrosine kinases at the cell surface causes the individual receptor molecules to cluster into pairs and to attach to phosphates to the tyrosines on each other's cytoplasmic tails.The altered receptors interact directly with proteins that contain a module…

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