Definition of a cellular signal

Vladimir Matveev vm_spb at
Tue Sep 19 02:57:56 EST 2000

You are limited by reception processes, and I would like to receive a
general definition. The interactions in a cell can be of physical
nature too not only by molecular nature (molecule-receptor
interaction). In addition, signalling can has complex nature.


In article <nMzx5.38973$_e4.1823900 at>,
  "Richard Norman" <rsnorman at> wrote:
> "Vladimir Matveev" <vm_spb at> wrote in message
> news:8q4rn0$16r$1 at
> > Everybody in cell biology speak now about cellular SIGNALs. But who
> > knows the DEFINITION of a signal? Who given the definition? Where it
> > was published? Please, help me find the definition in the
> > Can YOU give the definition?
> > Thank everybody in advance.
> >
> Are you interested in the history or in what cell signaling is?
> For the definition, it refers to the process by which one cell can
> communicate with or control another.  Now it usually means
> the method of communication where a molecule from one cell binds
> to a receptor in the other to initiate the control process.  The usual
> example is hormonal control.  For details, see Alberts et al,
> Molecular Biology of the Cell which has nice chapter on the subject.
> For the history, a cell biologist, biochemist, and physiologist
> in my department recall that it was a term certainly in use in
> the 80's and possibly earlier.  I (the physiologist) thought it
> arose from Sutherland's work on 2nd messengers in the late 60's
> and 70's,  but the biochemist thought it might have derived also
> from the signals involved in contact inhibition.  All of us agreed
> that the phrase is so descriptive of the general phenomenon
> that it was not really a "new word" requiring a citation or
> I did find a 1969 edition of Dowben's "General Physiology, a
> Molecular Approach" where there was no mention of the concept.
> All my other ancient texts were long since discarded so I can't
> trace a time line.

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