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Second Messenger Systems: Overview

by Georgina Cornwall, PhD
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    00:02 Welcome to our second lecture on cell communications. In this lecture we'll dig a little more deeply into how second messenger systems work. First of all we're going to be able to review a variety of different second messenger systems. And explain how they result in signal amplification.

    00:23 And in addition to that we'll see how phosphorylation of proteins works. And by the end of it all you should be able to diagram a tyrosine receptor kinase pathway as well as diagram a G-protein coupled receptor pathway. It's pretty complicated stuff. So let me give you an analogy to begin.

    00:44 First of all, let's imagine that there is a building on fire. I've seen the fire and I decide that I need to call the fire department. So I ring them quickly and I activate the emergency systems.

    01:01 So the dispatch person is the receptor protein and that dispatch person is going to activate the firemen to go and see what's going on with the fire and hopefully put it out. So, the bell rings and many firemen are activated and all of those firemen run to the scene. And then we have to have investigators at the scene. And then we have to have all sorts of people to find out how this fire happened.

    01:27 All of this started with one signal molecule but the response was amplified in a very large way.

    01:33 This continues until the fireman have either put out the fire or the building's burnt all the way to the ground.

    01:41 The key here is that after the fire is over, the firemen all go back to bed and relax until the bell is rung again. So, cell communication and signal amplification through second messenger systems works very much in this fashion.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Second Messenger Systems: Overview by Georgina Cornwall, PhD is from the course Cellular Structure.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. …a multi-step process which amplifies the signal many folds to carry out the cellular response.
    2. …a single-step process which amplifies the signal many folds to carry out the cellular response.
    3. …a enzymatic process which prevents the association of the first messenger with the second messenger molecule.
    4. …a multi-step process which dampens the signal many folds to suppress the cellular response.
    5. …a single-step process which dampens the signal many folds to suppress the cellular response.

    Author of lecture Second Messenger Systems: Overview

     Georgina Cornwall, PhD

    Georgina Cornwall, PhD


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