The activation of receptors has been believed to be due to a conformational change that occurs when the agonist "locks" into the receptor. However, evidence suggests that several receptors are activated by redox reactions, which occur when an agonist binds with the receptor. The stereochemistry of the receptor likely provides specificity to the electron transfer by determining which agonist can bind to the receptor. The resulting signal, in some cases, may then be transferred across the membrane by G-proteins, which also are redox-coupled. This concept puts receptors into the large group of cell functions that are redox-regulated. Other systems for which evidence of redox regulation occurs include ion pumps and channels, as well as transcription factors.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Dr Weir is supported by general medical research funds from the US Department of Veterans Affairs and by National Institutes of Health grant ROI HL65322.
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