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signal transduction | medical illustration


Signal transduction occurs when an extracellular signaling molecule activates a cell surface receptor. In turn, this receptor alters intracellular molecules creating a response.

There are two stages in this process:

1. A signaling molecule activates a specific receptor protein on the cell membrane.

2. A second messenger transmits the signal into the cell, eliciting a physiological response. In either step, the signal can be amplified. Thus, one signalling molecule can cause many responses.