Cell Signaling Pathways

Introduction to Cell Signaling


Cell signaling governs basic cellular activities and coordinates cell actions through a complex coordination of responses to cellular microenvironment. The disruption or errors found within this communication chain gives rise to various diseases and cancers. By understanding cell signaling, diseases may be treated more effectively and cures created.


The complex interaction of the activated receptor with other proteins inside the cell before the ultimate physiological effect of the ligand on the cell's behavior is produced is called signal transduction or cell signaling. Numerous cell signaling pathways exist, including Akt, NF-kB, and Notch signaling. Rockland produces antibodies that assist in research for a variety of these pathways.



AKT Pathway Overview


Akt, also known as Protein Kinase B (PKB), is a serine/threonine-specific protein kinase that plays an integral role in mediating signals for cell growth, survival, cell-cycle progression, differentiation, transcription, translation, and glucose metabolism. Akt is one of the most actively studied kinase pathways in the basic research and drug development arenas. Recent advances in Akt signaling have focused on understanding even more cellular processes and identifying cellular substrates that are physiologically relevant in vivo. These efforts have uncovered important roles for Akt regulation in cancer research, neuroscience, and disease prevention.  




c-MET Pathway Overview


c-Met is a receptor for hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), while RON is recognized by macrophage-stimulating protein (MSP), also known as HGF-like protein. c-Met and RON both are expressed by a variety of epithelial-derived tumors and cancer cell lines and thought to play a functional role in tumorigenesis and invasive-metastatic phenotypes. Both RON and c-Met are recent targets of drug studies to control cell migration and matrix invasion.


HER2 Signaling Overview


HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) is a member of the epidermal growth factor receptor (HER/EGFR/ERBB) family. It is also called ERBB2, CD340 or proto-oncogene Neu. The protein is a receptor tyrosine kinase located on the plasma membrane of cells. Activation of the tyrosine kinase promotes cell proliferation and suppresses apoptosis. HER2 can dimerize with any other member of the ErbB family, which results in auto-phosphorylation of tyrosine residues and activation of signaling pathways. The signal is then transferred via PI3K/Akt, RAS/MEK/MAPK and STAT kinase that can be detected using Rockland’s phospho-specific antibodies to accurately determine activation of the pathway. Based on the Human Protein Reference Database (HPRD), HER2 interacts with more than 50 proteins directly.


NF-κB Pathway Overview


Nuclear Factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells or NF-κB is a protein complex that controls the transcription of DNA. It is found in almost all animal cells where they adjust a broad range of biological processes including innate and adaptive immunity, inflammation, stress responses, B cell development, and lymphoid organogenesis.  Misregulated NF-κB has been linked to cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, septic shock, viral infection, and improper immune development.  Many natural products promoted as having anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activity have been shown to inhibit NF-κB.

Notch Signaling Pathway Overview


The Notch signaling pathway is a fundamental evolutionarily conserved signaling system allowing neighboring cells to communicate and perform their proper developmental role. Notch proteins mediate critically important cellular functions through direct cell-cell contact. Notch signaling involves gene regulation mechanisms that control multiple cell differentiation processes during embryonic and adult life.

P53 is a tumor suppressor protein encoded in humans by the TP53 gene. It is a crucial component in multicellular organisms, as it regulates the cell cycle and helps prevent cancer. p53 is the most frequently altered gene in human cancers. The name is due to its molecular mass: it is in the 53 kilodalton fraction of cell proteins.

The Ras-Raf-MEK-ERK Pathway is a critical cell signaling pathway with numerous implications for cancer biology and therapeutic development. Like the AKT signaling pathway, this signaling cascade is part of the MAPK pathway that plays a role in the regulation of various cellular processes including proliferation, differentiation, development, learning, cell survival and, under some conditions, also apoptosis.

STAT Signaling Pathway Overview


STAT signaling may hold the key to some immune deficiency research and various types of cancers. By studying the autophosphorylation behavior of this pathway, and the influence of STAT proteins in other pathways, researchers gain valuable insight into understanding how this essential signaling system interacts with cellular functions. Rockland develops a variety of antibodies against this pathway that have proven instrumental in continuing the ongoing research within the cancer and immunology fields.

Other areas in which Rockland is helping promote active research for cell signaling analysis include P53, and C-met. 

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