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Flashcards in Chapter 11 Deck (25):


Any of a class of cell-surface proteins involved in selective cell–cell adhesion. Important for coordinating movements of cells and the establishment of tissues during embryological development.



A fibrous, pliable, cable-like glycoprotein that is a major component of the extracellular matrix of animal cells. Various subtypes differ in their tissue distribution, some of which are assembled into large fibrils in the extracellular space.



Interactions among signaling pathways that modify a cellular response.



A type of cell–cell attachment structure, consisting of cadherin proteins, that is anchored to intermediate filaments. Serves to link the cytoskeletons of adjacent animal cells and form strong cell–cell attachments throughout a tissue. Compare with gap junction and tight junction.



A class of plant proteins that break hydrogen bonds between components in the primary cell wall to allow it to expand for cell growth.


extracellular matrix (ECM)

A complex meshwork in which animal cells are embedded, consisting of proteins (e.g., collagen, proteoglycan, laminin) and polysaccharides produced by the cells.


G protein

Any of various proteins that are activated by binding to guanosine triphosphate (GTP) and inactivated when GTP is hydrolyzed to GDP. In G-protein-coupled receptors, signal binding directly triggers the activation of a G protein, leading to production of a second messenger or initiation of a phosphorylation cascade.


gap junction

A type of cell–cell attachment structure that directly connects the cytosolic components of adjacent animal cells, allowing passage of water, ions, and small molecules between the cells. Compare with desmosome and tight junction.



Any of a class of cell-surface proteins that bind to laminins and other proteins in the extracellular matrix, thus holding cells in place.



An abundant protein in the extracellular matrix that binds to other ECM components and to integrins in plasma membranes; helps anchor cells in place. Predominantly found in the basal lamina; many subtypes function in different tissues.



Bundled strands of cellulose that serve as the fibrous component in plant cell walls.


mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK)

Enzymes that are involved in signal transduction pathways that often lead to the induction of cell replication. Different types are organized in a series, where one kinase activates another via phosphorylation. See also phosphorylation cascade.



A gelatinous polysaccharide found in the primary cell wall of plant cells. Attracts and holds water, forming a gel that resists compression forces and helps keep the cell wall moist.



An enzyme that removes phosphate groups from proteins or other molecules. Phosphatases are often used in the inactivation of signaling pathways that involve the phosphorylation and activation of proteins.


phosphorylation cascade

A series of enzyme- catalyzed phosphorylation reactions commonly used in signal transduction pathways to amplify and convey a signal inward from the plasma membrane.


primary cell wall

The outermost layer of a plant cell wall, made of cellulose fibers and gelatinous polysaccharides, that defines the shape of the cell and withstands the turgor pressure of the plasma membrane.


protein kinase

An enzyme that catalyzes the addition of a phosphate group to another protein, typically activating or inactivating the substrate protein.



A type of highly glycosylated protein found in the extracellular matrix of animal cells that attracts and holds water, forming a gel that resists compression forces.


quorum sensing

Cell–cell signaling in unicellular organisms, in which cells of the same species communicate via chemical signals. It is often observed that cell activity changes dramatically when the population reaches a threshold size, or quorum.


Ras protein

A type of G protein that is activated by enzyme-linked cell-surface receptors, including receptor tyrosine kinases. Activated Ras then initiates a phosphorylation cascade, culminating in a cell response.


receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK)

Any of a class of enzyme-linked cell-surface signal receptors that undergo phosphorylation after binding a signaling molecule. The activated, phosphorylated receptor then triggers a signal transduction pathway inside the cell.


second messenger

A nonprotein signaling molecule produced or activated inside a cell in response to stimulation at the cell surface. Commonly used to relay the message of a hormone or other extracellular signaling molecule.


selective adhesion

The tendency of cells of one tissue type to adhere to other cells of the same type.


signal receptor

Any cellular protein that binds to a particular signaling molecule (e.g., a hormone or neurotransmitter) and triggers a response by the cell. Receptors for lipid-insoluble signals are transmembrane proteins in the plasma membrane; those for many lipid-soluble signals (e.g., steroid hormones) are located inside the cell.


tight junction

A type of cell–cell attachment structure that links the plasma membranes of adjacent animal cells, forming a barrier that restricts movement of substances in the space between the cells. Most abundant in epithelia (e.g., the intestinal lining). Compare with desmosome and gap junction.