Signal Transduction: Overview


Cell growth, migration, shape, differentiation and apoptosis are all regulated by signals that cells receive from their environment. The mechanism whereby information is transmitted over the cell membrane or through the interior of the cell, occurs in a network of crosstalk between different signalling pathways, known as signal transduction.

Keywords: cytokine; growth factor; dimerization; kinase; protein module; differentiation; apoptosis

Figure 1.

Signal transduction via kinase‐associated receptors. The receptors are drawn to illustrate their intrinsic kinase domains (rectangles) or the dual kinase domains in associated Jak kinases, and to emphasize their dimeric or heterotetrameric configurations after ligand binding. Activation of receptors induce a number of signalling pathways; activating and inhibitory interactions in these pathways are indicated. Nuclear translocation is indicated by dotted lines. Abbreviations: JAK, Janus kinase; STAT, signal transducer and activator of transcription; GAP, GTPase‐activating protein; Grb2, growth factor receptor bound‐2; Sos1, son of sevenless‐1; MEK, mitogen‐activated extracellular receptor‐regulated kinase; MAP kinase, mitogen‐activated protein kinase; PI3 kinase, phosphatidylinositol 3′‐kinase; Rac, Ras‐related C3 substrate; PLCγ, phospholipase C‐γ; SHP‐2, SH2 domain‐containing phosphatase‐1; Smad, Sma and Mad‐related. Src, Ras, Raf‐1 and Akt were first discovered as oncogene products with the same names.


Further Reading

Heldin C‐H and Purton M (eds) (1996) Signal Transduction. Modular Texts in Molecular and Cell Biology. London: Chapman and Hall.

Pawson T and Scott JD (1997) Signaling through scaffold, anchoring, and adaptor proteins. Science 278: 2075–2080.

Hunter T (2000) Signaling – 2000 and beyond. Cell 100: 113–127.

Contact Editor close
Submit a note to the editor about this article by filling in the form below.

* Required Field

How to Cite close
Heldin, Carl‐Henrik(May 2002) Signal Transduction: Overview. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0002327]