Immunology

How dying cells prevent dangerous immune reactions

Dying cells in the body can keep the immune system in check, thus preventing unwanted immune responses against the body's own tissues. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center have now identified a receptor on murine ...

Immunology

How immune cells switch to attack mode

Macrophages have two faces: In healthy tissue, they perform important tasks and support their environment. However during an infection, they stop this work and hunt down pathogens instead. Upon coming into contact with bacteria ...

Oncology & Cancer

Potential new cancer treatment a step closer

QIMR Berghofer researchers have discovered a potential new cancer immunotherapy target that involves switching off a regulatory cell to stop tumors growing and spreading.

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Receptor (biochemistry)

In biochemistry, a receptor is a protein molecule, embedded in either the plasma membrane or cytoplasm of a cell, to which a mobile signaling (or "signal") molecule may attach. A molecule which binds to a receptor is called a "ligand," and may be a peptide (such as a neurotransmitter), a hormone, a pharmaceutical drug, or a toxin, and when such binding occurs, the receptor undergoes a conformational change which ordinarily initiates a cellular response. However, some ligands merely block receptors without inducing any response (e.g. antagonists). Ligand-induced changes in receptors result in physiological changes which constitute the biological activity of the ligands.

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