Chemical Signaling Systems in Lower Organisms: A Prelude to the Evolution of Chemical Communication in the Nervous System
The use of chemoreceptors to monitor chemicals appearing in the external environment has many similarities to the use of neuronal receptors to monitor chemicals appearing in a synaptic cleft. Both the chemoreceptors and neuronal receptors obtain information about specific signal molecules appearing in an aquatic milieu external to the receptor cell itself. Both receptor types include membrane-bound binding sites, whose occupancy is coupled to a transduction process which may affect the electrical properties of the membrane. Moreover, many examples are known wherein the same substance stimulates both external chemoreceptors and internal neuronal receptors (e.g., Carr et al., 1989). Earlier reviews describing analogies between external and internal receptors are provided by Kittredge et al. (1974), Lenhoff and Heagy (1977), Carr et al. (1987; 1989) and Janssens (1987).
KeywordsAdenylate Cyclase Chemical Communication Dictyostelium Discoideum Slime Mold Inositol Trisphosphate
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