Module 1: Figure cell signalling mechanism

The basic principle of a cell signalling pathway.

Stimuli (e.g. hormones, neurotransmitters or growth factors) acting on cell-surface receptors relay information through intracellular signalling pathways that can have a number of components. They usually begin with the activation of transducers that use amplifiers to generate internal messengers that either act locally or can diffuse throughout the cell. These messengers then engage sensors that are coupled to the effectors that are responsible for activating cellular responses. The green and red arrows indicate that cell signalling is a dynamic process consisting of ON mechanisms (green arrows) during which information flows down the pathway, opposed by the OFF mechanisms (red arrows) that switch off the different steps of the signalling pathway.