What is the main importance of 2nd messenger?

Biochemistry: Hormones and Signal Transduction: Free online lectures of Biochemistry for Medical and Allied Health students by the Biochemistry Club

Hormone binding

Hormones are the intercellular messengers that are released from a ductless gland and transported in the blood from an endocrine cell to a target cell that is somewhere else in the body with a receptor.

To learn about the hormone binding and signal transduction, first we have to know the answers of some important questions.

What happens when a hormone binds to a receptor?
Answer to this is that when a hormone bind to a receptor, a signaling cascade occurs.
A series of steps is caused by this hormone binding event. These series of steps involve the hormones and they alter the enzyme activity within the cells and by doing this they also alter the gene transcription.

Signal Transduction

The signal transduction is the process by which an extracellular signal is converted (and amplified) into a cellular response.
It often involves the 2nd messenger.
In this case the 1st messenger is the hormone itself (or another extracellular signal that initially arrives at the target cell (receptor).
The 2nd messenger – a molecule that is made inside the cell in response to the hormone binding event (1st messenger).
This binding of the hormone and the formation of the 2nd messenger impacts activity of the cell.
All of these are usually created in large amounts. The purpose is to amplify the signals.

For complete lesson please go to the Hormones in the Biochemistry II section (from the Homepage) and click curriculum tab to view the full list of lessons.

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