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Definition of Signal transduction

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Signal transduction: A basic process in molecular cell biology involving the conversion of a signal from outside the cell to a functional change within the cell.

A signal (such as a hormone or neurotransmitter) interacts with a receptor on the cell surface; this interaction causes a change in a second messenger (such calcium); and, eventually, a change is triggered in the cell's function (for example, the cell divides).

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