[Paleopsych] A rich resource on cellular receptors

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Mon May 2 00:23:29 UTC 2005


receptor (biochemistry)

In biochemistry, a receptor is a protein on the cell membrane or within the 
cytoplasm that binds to a specific factor (a ligand), such as a 
neurotransmitter, hormone, or other substance, and initiates the cellular 
response to the ligand. As all receptors are proteins, their structure is 
encoded into the DNA. Most hormone genes contain a short sequence that 
signals to the cell whether it needs to be transported to the cell membrane 
or it is to remain in the cytoplasm.


Many genetic disorders involve hereditary defects in receptor genes. Often, 
it is hard to determine whether the receptor is nonfunctional or the 
hormone is produced at decreased level; this gives rise to the 
"pseudo-hypo-" group of endocrine disorders, where there appears to be a 
decreased hormonal level while in fact it is the receptor that is not 
responding sufficiently to the hormone.

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