Medical research

Dietary amino acid determines the fate of cancer cells

A research group at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) has discovered molecular events that determine whether cancer cells live or die. With this knowledge, they found that reduced consumption of a specific ...

Medical research

The key to proper muscle growth

When a muscle grows, because its owner is still growing too or has started exercising regularly, some of the stem cells in this muscle develop into new muscle cells. The same thing happens when an injured muscle starts to ...

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Signal transduction

In biology, 'signal transduction' refers to any process by which a cell converts one kind of signal or stimulus into another. Most processes of signal transduction involve ordered sequences of biochemical reactions inside the cell, which are carried out by enzymes and activated by second messengers, resulting in a signal transduction pathway. Such processes are usually rapid, lasting on the order of milliseconds in the case of ion flux, or minutes for the activation of protein- and lipid-mediated kinase cascades, but some can take hours, and even days (as is the case with gene expression), to complete. The number of proteins and other molecules participating in the events involving signal transduction increases as the process emanates from the initial stimulus, resulting in a "signal cascade," beginning with a relatively small stimulus that elicits a large response. This is referred to as amplification of the signal.

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