BRFAA - Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of Athens
Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of AthensAcademy Of Athens

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Neural cells are guided through differentiation by the signaling of plasma membrane receptors. While a significant fraction of genes appear to generate the molecular circuitry necessary for signal transduction, rather few gene products provide regulation and control the sophisticated behaviors of neural cells. Thus, a major challenge is to identify key molecular events that regulate bacquisition and maintenance of differentiation in neural cells.

The crucial cellular function of intracellular signal transduction requires formation of signaling multiprotein complexes, assembled at the interface of membrane and cytosol. The formation of multiprotein complexes, or signalosomes, is achieved around a membrane receptor by phosphorylation-dependent recruitment of membrane-associated, cytosolic signaling proteins. In addition to protein conformational and activity changes that phosphorylation induces, it also generates new recognition domains, that may interact with yet other families of proteins. These protein-protein interactions are key modular elements in phosphorelay-based signaling cascades in cells, in particular for the pivotal for neural function ERK1/2 pathway.