Intracellular Receptors

Characteristics and Measurement
  • James H. Clark
  • Ernest J. PeckJr.


The control of cellular activity is accomplished by intracellular regulatory mechanisms and by signals from outside the cell. These extracellular signals, such as hormones, neurotransmitters, drugs, and others, act on specific cell types to stimulate specific biological responses. These signals are generally considered to be recognized by receptors that reside on the surface of or within target cells. Cells which are not responsive to a given signal are called nontargets and generally possess few, if any, receptors for a given signal. In this chapter we will discuss only intracellular receptors; however, most of the points made will be applicable to cell surface receptors as well. Intracellular receptors are macromolecules that may exist as free and soluble components of the cytoplasm, or may be contained within various intracellular compartments. These receptors function via their capacity to recognize and bind specific ligands. Implicit in receptor theory is the assumption that occupied receptor—that is, receptor-ligand complex—is responsible for the production of a biological response. The characteristics of receptor–ligand interactions and their relationship to the stimulation of biological response will be discussed in detail in this chapter.


Estrogen Receptor Receptor Site Scatchard Plot Intracellular Receptor Estrogen Receptor Binding 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • James H. Clark
    • 1
  • Ernest J. PeckJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cell BiologyBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

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