Signaling pathway is one which provides a signal for body function and physiology.
The signal can lead to growth, repair and even damage to the cells or tissue.
These pathways are present in both micro and macro level. In the macro level, it involves direct action of hormones on the tissues or organs.
In micro-level, the action occurs at the cellular level.
But, both of them are essential for proper physiology. Any derangement in it would lead to disorders in the body.
This disorder can be due to deficiency or malfunction of one of the parts of the signaling pathway. Sometimes, it can be due to the breakdown of the whole system itself.
Also, excess signaling and insufficient signaling also leads to disturbances in body homeostasis.
What are the Essential Parts of a Signaling Pathway
Signaling pathway mostly includes a ligand, receptor and also signal transmission cascade.
In between, there can also be enzymes and other micro-elements which help in the processing of a sufficient signal.
Ligand: This is also called as the signaling molecule. The ligand is any molecule which is having a particular function and exerts its action after binding to a specific receptor.
The ligand can be endogenous or exogenous. But mostly they are exogenous and based on their structure; one can make or find an exogenous ligand for clinical application.
Examples: Acetylcholine, epinephrine and other neurotransmitters.
Receptors: As the name indicates, it is a point in the body to receive a signal. This reception of signal happens only when the ligand is bound to the receptors.
There are four different types of receptors in the human body.
Signal transition process: It can also be called as the signal cascade.This happens when the action is set up by the signal till its end. This mostly leads to action or product in the body. It mostly involves few enzymes, ions and phosphorylation.
ATP: Adenosine-triphosphate, the energy currency of the cell formed in mitochondria is essential for signaling pathway to function efficiently. Without, energy (ATP), there can be nos signal processing and transition from one point to other in the body or a cell.