Talk:Signal transduction

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Signal transduction:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
    • Add more References.
    • Add section on physical stimuli and signal transduction (e.g. photoreceptors in retina and plants).
    • Improve WP:MOS.

    Comment 2003[edit]

    I have added a new intro/overview section for the article, I drew on material from Cosma Shalizi's "Signal transduction" Notebook from 2003-01-20. It is used under the GFDL with permission, see Talk:Self-organization for GFDL-related correspondence with author. It probably need more work to be integrated better, some of the material might be relevant for the "Processing of environment signals" section. -- Lexor 11:15, 18 Aug 2003 (UTC)

    Comments and suggestions for refactoring the introduction[edit]

    The former revision of this article had this introduction:

    In biology, signal transduction describes the uptake of environmental signals by cells, the intercellular communication between cells in a multicellular organism, and the signal recognition, transmission, and resulting action within a cell. A typical signal transduction pathway consists of the following steps:
    1. Biosynthesis of a hormone
    2. Storage and secretion of the hormone.
    3. Transport of the hormone to the target cell.
    4. Recognition of the hormone by the hormone receptor protein, leading to a conformational change.
    5. Relay and amplification of the signal that leads to defined biochemical reactions within the target cell. The reactions of the target cells can, in turn, cause a signal to the hormone-producing cell that leads to the down-regulation of hormone production.
    6. Removal of the hormone.
    The signal transduction can be altered at any of these steps. The single most important mechanism to do this is phosphorylation.

    An edit by User:Hideshi changed this to (after some copyedits for spelling and grammar by me) the current edit:

    In biology, signal transduction refers to the transformation of the extracellular physiochemical signals into intracellular signals. Extracellular signals are generally ligands of transmembrane receptors and are generally derived from either other cells or the environment (with the exception of autocrine factors), while an intracellular signal consists of a series of chemical interactions in either the cellular membrane or the intracellular space, or from the cellular membrane to the intracellular space. Generally autocrine factors are secreted from the cell and lose the distinction from those from the neighbouring cells.
    Some typical examples of extracellular signals to which unicellular organisms respond include nutrients and related chemicals, while signals to cells in vertebrates organisms include photons, hormones, growth factors, cytokines, interleukins, neurotransmitters and the various ligands of the olfactory and gustatory receptors. Most extracellular chemical signals are water-soluble and membrane impermeable. These molecules act as ligands for transmembrane receptors and cause a structural change in these receptor molecules, which then induces the intracellular signalling phase. Typical examples of membrane permeable and extracellular signals are steroid hormones. Steroids hormones first diffuse into the cell membrane and then bind to their receptors, which are usually located in the cell nucleus.
    Intercellular signalling molecules in eukaryotic cells include heterotrimeric G protein, small GTPases, cyclic nucleotides, such as cAMP and cGMP, calcium ion, phophoinositide derivatives, such as Phosphatidylinositol-triphosphate(PIP3), Diacylglycerol (DAG) and Inositol-triphosphate (IP3), and various protein kinases and phosphatases. Intracellular signalling usually leads to certain cellular responses, such as the regulation of gene expression, the modulation of signal transduction pathways, chemotaxis and morphological changes.

    While I appreciate the detailed nature of the description here, it seems to have lost some of the clarity and relatively non-technical nature of the earlier version of the introduction. I suggest that we merge some of the above edit by Hideshi into the original edit of the page, and where it is not possible to merge, we can relocate the rest to the next section. We might also want to consider the Overview and context section as well in this refactoring. --Lexor 10:19, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)

    I see Lexor's points. My intension was to bring some generality to the discription. Please go ahead and be bold in editing. --Hideshi 8 Dec 2003

    This whole article could use a rewrite, clarifying the whole process, complete with references. I'd do it if I knew jack about cell biology. - Quirk 13:21, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

    Receptor page[edit]

    Receptor (proteomics) now contains a list of receptors. Please list any pages you know on that list, because it's presently a bit messy. JFW | T@lk 20:24, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

    Where to put signaling pathways?[edit]

    After transduction at the receptor, there's a lot of important stuff that goes on before the final effector molecules. There should be an article that covers the various pathways including phospatidyl inositol 3kinase/Akt, Ras/Raf-MEK/Erk, eNOS/NO, and inositol 3phosphate/Ca2+. (That list is from here [1].) It probably deserves its own article, and maybe it has one that I'm not finding. Or should it be put in here?

    The merging issue[edit]

    Nah. Signal transduction is part of the Cell signaling. -- Boris 04:28, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

    I expanded Cell signaling to provide a general outline of the production of signals, types of receptors and to introduce signal transduction pathways. --JWSchmidt 19:49, 24 June 2006 (UTC

    Cell Communication is a larger classification than Cell Signaling. Cell signaling belongs inside Cell Communication. This leaves enough room for additional cell communication modalities to emerge. (talk) 22:04, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

    Definition please[edit]

    What does genesturn mean? - D.White


    Unless someone other than the author can assert that the following reference is noteworthy and useful within the scope of the article within three days, I suggest the next person to see this message after that time removes the reference from the article - it was inserted by the author.

    Samsara (talk contribs) 14:41, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

    Overview section and other comments[edit]

    Here are a couple of my suggestions on how to improve the article. I think the overview section may be a little unnecessary since it repeats information in the main chunk of the article and there is already a lead paragragh that is supposed to summarise the page. Perhaps its removal, or incorporation into the main text would improve this page. Also, it seems there is a bias towards hormones in the article at the moment (clearly someone with knowledge has added their info without as much input from others) that makes the article, at times, appear as if it about hormone related signal transduction. e.g. see the sections on stimulatory molecules and nuclear receptors. Hope this is helpful, Ciar 19:49, 4 March 2007 (UTC)


    I was looking at photoreceptors and which ones already have Wikipedia pages. I found a couple of the main plant receptors, such as phytochrome, cryptochrome, and phototropin. I also found that they link to photoreceptor, which currently is an article exclusively about the photoreceptor neurons of mammalian retina, resulting in those plant links not making any sense. While we're at it, it might be a good idea to collect some info on molecular photoreceptors to disambiguate the photoreceptor page? - tameeria 16:36, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

    Move steroid hormone information and referencing idea[edit]

    I'm thinking of moving all the information on steroid hormones/receptors and DNA interactions into the article steroid hormones. The steroid hormones article lacks this information and I think this might be a better place for it. Steroid hormones don't really activate a secondary messenger pathway and the rest of this signal transduction article could then be devoted to stimuli that do. I won't do it for a few days to give people time to voice an opinion on this one.

    Also, my idea behind packing the overview with references is to then expand on these references more in the actual article. I don't intend/haven't got time to keep up the level of referencing in the overview throughout the article! - K.murphy 12:50, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

    Where to put this info??[edit]

    I was trying to help reorganize and tidy, but couldn't figure the best place for this seems a wee bit technical too, compared to the rest of the article! Any suggestions. I'll leave it here for the mo, feel free to add it back in where appropriate!! Ciar 05:36, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

    I think I know were to put this info[edit]

    I thought the moved "Hormone recognition by transmembrane receptors" section covered some points that weren't covered in either the dissociation constant or hormone article, but didn't justify a new section in either. I didn't think signal transduction was a good place for it either. I've tried to incorporate the info it covered into dissociation constant and hormone

    K.murphy 20:30, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

    Glad you found a home for it. Seemed like a lot of work to waste!! Ciar 06:35, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

    Intracellular receptors[edit]

    Got another query from the main page. In the section that is titled Nuclear receptors, the first sentence reads:

    "Nuclear (or cytoplasmic) receptors are soluble proteins localized within the cytoplasm or the nucleoplasm."

    Wouldn't it be better to give this section the title Intracellular receptors, and then make two separate references (either as subheadings or just referenced in the text) to address nuclear receptors and cytoplasmic receptors?? The section pretty much focusses on nuclear receptors, but the actual cytoplasmic receptors aren't really mentioned yet....things like cytoplasmic pattern recognition receptors (NOD-like receptors, R proteins, RIG-1) ...and any that are outside of the immune system that I wouldn't know about ;-) Just a thought.Ciar 06:35, 20 March 2007 (UTC)


    Anyone have information about the discovery of cell communication via transduction, like the guys who find it and how? I´m trying to find some info in my books but there is nothing, something about it?--ometzit<col> 20:27, 22 March 2007 (UTC) I've added a history section to the main article, is this helpfull to you? K.murphy 18:42, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

    Yeah thanks that should do the trick i can use that first article in medline as the beginning of transduction research. thnks xD--ometzit<col> 19:11, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
    This section isn't really very informative. The only real information in those two paragraphs is that the term was first used in the early 70s and its use has increased in subsequent decades. There are most certainly landmark discoveries that can be enumerated here. Roadnottaken 21:32, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
    Does as increase in the number of publications using the term not also reflect an increased amount of effort directed towards signal transduction research? Thats the idea I was trying to get across and only why I looked for the term in article titles or abstracts. If you know more recent landmark discoveries add them to the section, or write them here. I like your overview picture K.murphy 17:43, 25 March 2007 (UTC)


    Calcineurin might be good to work into the article somewhere, it shows a role for phosphatases in signal transduction as well as kinases K.murphy 22:02, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

    That diagram[edit]

    I know it's only supposed be simple, but it places it looks just plain wrong to me. See Image_talk:Signal_transduction_v1.png. Joe D (t) 19:23, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

    Receptor Tyrosine Kinases - how are they switched off or controlled??[edit]

    There is no information about the control of signaling time at RTKs? They must be internalized, but I actually don't know how this is realized... Somebody add this please! fou-rire

    Please add a generic defintion for the link 'extra-cellular matrix components'[edit]

    Presently, the link 'extra-cellular matrix components' points to the entry for 'fibronectin', apparently a specific instance of the concept. Non-experts would appreciate this.

    Done K.murphy 08:00, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

    Too much "Eukaryotic" bias in this article[edit]

    The article is forgetting the huge amount of information concerning Prokaryotic signal transduction. A separate section should be added and a more generic introductory statement should be written to include this major area of biology. It also misses the major point that signal transduction extends to the perception and on intracellular signals (metabolite levels, energy charge, reducing power,... ) via cytoplasmic sensors (and not only two-component systems) and the novel classes of second messengers produced by bacteria (ppGpp, c-di-GMP, etc.). Most of these systems are relevant to virulence, antibiotic resistance and other important aspects of microbial biology relevant to medicine and biotechnology. I may volunteer to write a section and reorganize this as soon as time allows.

    -- (talk) 17:49, 21 January 2009 (UTC)MaxHarvard

    Be WP:BOLD. There aren't many active editors in the WP:MCB area. Xasodfuih (talk) 07:09, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
    And I'll bet that the majority of these few active editors are eukaryotes themselves, hence their bias. DRosenbach (Talk | Contribs) 12:39, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

    Major pathways[edit]

    I know there is a list of pathways in the template at the very very bottom of the article. However, it is far from everyone who actually finds it, and it just lists the names of the pathways, so I think a separate section of major transduction pathways is motivated. Mikael Häggström (talk) 08:13, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

    Inter/intracellar signal transduction[edit]

    Does anyone have any good techniques/suggestions/etc for outlining signal transduction outside or inside a cell without using cartoons/diagrams (i.e. some type of all-text approach)? ---kilbad (talk) 01:34, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

    Semiconductive biological macromolecules - scientific consensus?[edit]

    Hi, I can't access the reference now provided for the statement "Redox signaling also includes active modulation of electronic flows in semiconductive biological macromolecules" (an editorial preface by H. J. Forman, Free Radic. Biol. Med. 47:1237-1238; 2009). What I find in the literature is that biological macromolecules are proposed to have semiconductive properties according to a theory by Albert Szent-Györgyi, but even in current literature it seems to be referred to as a "theory", not as a fact. Any more information on this?--Biologos (talk) 09:40, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

    "All hormones that act by regulation of gene expression" Which is the regulated and which is the regulator in this sentence? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:08, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

    Ligand-gated ion channel: Dendritic spine remodeling[edit]

    Could someone find a citation for, and/or further information about the dendritic spine remodeling mentioned in: "An example of an ion allowed into the cell during a ligand-gated ion channel opening is Ca2+; it acts as a second messenger initiating signal transduction cascades and altering the physiology of the responding cell. This results in amplification of the synapse response between synaptic cells by remodelling the dendritic spines involved in the synapse."UnderEducatedGeezer (talk) 17:51, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

    Here's something relevant, but probably not the actual source? UnderEducatedGeezer (talk) 18:33, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

    Assessment comment[edit]

    The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Signal transduction/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

    rated top as high school/SAT biology content - tameeria 15:06, 17 February 2007 (UTC) This article needs references. It needs a better discussion of the amplification effect of signal transduction cascades, resulting in just small amounts of hormones being able to trigger a cellular or organismal response. It only discusses molecular stimuli, but not physical stimuli (e.g. light signal transduction in retina and plant cells). Those should be added. Receptor and effector sections need expanding (under construction). - tameeria 20:12, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

    Last edited at 20:12, 18 February 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 06:08, 30 April 2016 (UTC)