Receptor Transduction Mechanisms


Neurotransmitter and peptide signalling requires receptor‐mediated responses to affect the target cell. General principles of ionotropic and metabotropic receptor‐mediated signalling include membrane potential alterations, calcium signalling, and kinase activity.

Keywords: signal transduction; signal cascade; second messenger; ionotropic receptor; metabotropic receptor

Figure 1.

Two distinct types of neurotransmitter receptors. Metabotropic receptor activation requires second messengers on the intracellular side. Stimulation of an ionotropic receptor allows passage of ions through the receptor itself.

Figure 2.

Generalized Gq‐coupled receptor pathway causing an increase in intracellular calcium concentration. PIP2, phosphoinositol 4,5‐bisphosphate; IP3, inositol 1,4,5‐trisphosphate; DAG, diacylglycerol; PKC, protein kinase C; VDCC, voltage‐dependent calcium channel; SR, sarcoplasmic reticulum; ER, endoplasmic reticulum; GDP, guanosine diphosphate; GTP, guanosine triphosphate.

Figure 3.

Crosstalk between receptor transduction pathways allows for dynamic regulation of cellular processes. β‐Ad, β‐adrenergic receptor; mAChR, muscarinic acetylcholine receptor; PKA, protein kinase A; VDCC, voltage‐dependent calcium channel; KAch, potassium channel; cAMP, cyclic adenosine monophosphate.



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Further Reading

Alberts B, Bray D, Lewis J, Raff M, Roberts K and Watson J (1994) Molecular Biology of the Cell, 3rd edn. New York: Garland Publishing.

Gilman AG (1987) G proteins: transducers of receptor‐generated signals. Annual Review of Biochemistry 56: 615–649.

Hammond C (ed.) (1996) Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology. New York: Academic Press.

Hille B (1992) Ionic Channels of Excitable Membranes, 2nd edn. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.

Neer EJ and Clapham DE (1988) Roles of G protein subunits in transmembrane signalling. Nature 333: 129–134.

Nicoll RA (1988) The coupling of neurotransmitter receptors to ion channels in the brain. Science 241: 545–551.

Nicoll RA, Malenka RC and Kauer JA (1990) Functional comparison of neurotransmitter receptor subtypes in mammalian central nervous system. Physiological Reviews 70: 513–565.

Ross EM (1989) Signal sorting and amplification through G protein‐coupled receptors. Neuron 3: 141–152.

Sleight RG and Lieberman MA (1998) Signal transduction. In: Sperelakis N (ed.) Cell Physiology Source Book, pp. 119–131. New York: Academic Press

Sutherland E (1972) Studies on the mechanism of hormone action. Science 177: 401–408.

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Evans, Jenafer, Sumners, Colin, and Gelband, Craig H(Apr 2001) Receptor Transduction Mechanisms. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0000057]