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3.3 Cell Signalling 💭

Cell Signalling

Introduction to cell signalling

Cell signalling is a core JC2 topic in H2 BIO A levels. This is the mechanism to which cells communicate with one another within a multi-cellular organism. The process starts with reception, signal transduction and subsequently response. And Consequently, how negative feedback shuts down the response afterwards. One have to understand and integrate the processes using the example of blood glucose levels control by insulin and glucagon.

This is an important topic that builds on earlier topics such as control and organization of eukaryotic genome, even (surprisingly) stem cells as well as biomolecules.

Materials for cell signalling

YouTube video

Phrasing errors

  • Glucagon activates glycogen phosphorylase, insulin activates glycogen synthase.
  • Signal amplification is when 1 signal molecule can trigger many different reactions in a cell at the same time.
  • When G-protein is activated, it changes conformation, resulting in hydrolysis/conversion/phosphorylation of GDP to GTP.

Exam tips

  • Adenylyl cyclase (US) = adenyl cyclase (UK) = adenylate cyclase (chemists).
  • There are many types of RTKs. If given a diagram, adapt your answers according to the diagram given.
  • Relate the structure of GPCRs to their function; think of what is important about them structurally and correspond that to a specific function e.g. tertiary structure of the extracellular domain creates a specific 3D conformation which allows for binding to specific ligands etc.

BYang’s tough question bank

  • When gymmers lift weights to failure, the most frequent explanation is the depletion of muscle glycogen. This is unlikely to be the explanation because resting for a few minutes and without eating to replenish glycogen, the lifting can still resume. Considering that the generation of ATP crucial for muscle contraction involves numerous enzymes, suggest the most likely causal factor for muscle failure and provide a potential mechanism to explain the phenomenon. [4m. Created 211005]
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