Cell Biology

... from active transport to vesicles

signaling gradients

CELL BIOLOGY: ON THE ORCHESTRATION OF THE MITOTIC SPINDLE: "The concept of signaling gradients is a familiar one in animal development[3]. Release of a diffusible and slowly degraded chemical, or morphogen, from a specific site can produce an extracellular concentration gradient that provides positional information to cells. The effect on a particular cell (for example, inducing differentiation) is determined by the cell's threshold in the response to the graded signal. If there are multiple thresholds, then the gradient can produce patterns of different cell responses. These may be limited to precise concentrations of the morphogen, and hence a precise position within a developing tissue. Intracellular gradients that provide positional cues can be generated through subcellular localization of mRNA, such as the localization of bicoid mRNA at the anterior pole of the Drosophila oocyte. Local translation subsequently produces a gradient of bicoid morphogen during early development[4]."


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