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Curr Biol. 2002 Jan 8;12(1):R32-40.

Signaling complexes: junctions on the intracellular information super highway.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Vollum Institute, Oregon Health and Sciences University, 3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, Oregon 97201-3098, USA.


An enigmatic yet fundamental principle of signal transduction is that parallel signaling pathways assembled from a common repertoire of enzymes are able to propagate diverse physiological responses. A key feature of such a mechanism is that separate signaling pathways are organized into localized transduction units, each tailored to respond optimally to a particular signal. Protein-protein interactions maintained by anchoring, adapter and scaffolding proteins provide the molecular glue that holds these signal transduction units together. A major objective of the signaling community is to ascertain how signals flow through compartmentalized transduction units that contain transmembrane receptors, protein kinases, phosphatases and their substrates.

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