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Pathway Central

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Cell Cycle related Pathways

Akt Signaling [ Details | Top ]
Akt (v-Akt Murine Thymoma Viral Oncogene)/ PKB (Protein Kinase-B) is a Serine/threonine Kinase that is involved in mediating various biological responses, such as inhibition of Apoptosis and stimulation of cell proliferation. Three mammalian isoforms are currently known: Akt1/PKB- Alpha, Akt2/PKB-Beta and Akt3/PKB-Gamma. All three isoforms of Akt share a common structure of three domains. The N-terminus of the protein is a PH (Pleckstrin Homology) domain, which interacts with membrane lipid products such as PIP2 (Phosphatidylinositol-3,4-Bisphosphate) and PIP3 (Phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-Triphosphate)....

Assembly of RNA Polymerase-II Initiation Complex [ Details | Top ]
The nuclei of all eukaryotic cells contain three different RNA Polymerases, designated I, II and III. Like the DNA Polymerase that catalyzes DNA replication, RNA Polymerases catalyze the formation of the phosphodiester bonds that link the nucleotides together to form a linear chain. The RNA Polymerase moves stepwise along the DNA, unwinding the DNA helix just ahead of the active site for polymerization to expose a new region of the template strand for complementary base-pairing. In this way, the growing RNA chain is extended by one nucleotide at a time in the 5’-to-3’ direction. The substrates are nucleoside triphosphates...

ATM Pathway - New [ Details | Top ]
ATM (Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Protein) belongs to a family of Kinases that have sequence homology to PI3K (Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase). ATM is a key regulator of multiple signaling cascades which respond to DNA strand breaks induced by damaging agents IR (Ionizing Radiation), radiometric agents or by normal processes. These responses involve the activation of cell cycle Chk factors (Checkpoints factors), DNA repair and Apoptosis. In addition, ATM appears to function as a 'caretaker', suppressing tumorigenesis in specific T cell lineages. Its downstream targets include Chk1 (Cell Cycle Checkpoint Kinase-1), Chk2 (Cell C...

BRCA1 Pathway - New [ Details | Top ]
The maintenance of genome integrity is essential to all life, but is particularly important to long-lived multicellular organisms, which are susceptible to cancer. DNA damage can take the form of base modifications, strand breaks, interstrand cross-links and other lesions. To deal with many types of damage, genomes have evolved multiple cellular defense mechanisms, including DNA repair and cell cycle checkpoint processes. Different pathways exist for specific kinds of DNA damage and the cell must have ways to decide which mechanism to use for a given lesion. These requirements imply that signaling networks not only sense t...

Chemokine Signaling [ Details | Top ]
Chemokines, or chemotactic cytokines, are a large family of small (6-14 kDa), structurally related proteins that mediate a wide range of biological activities. As a part of normal immune system functions, chemokines are a critical component of basal leukocyte trafficking essential for immune system architecture and development, and immune surveillance. Chemokines also participate in the growth, differentiation, and activation of leukocytes as well as stimulate various effector functions of these cells, such as integrin activation, chemotaxis, superoxide radical production and granule enzyme release. Four classes of chemokines...

Chromatin Remodeling [ Details | Top ]
The condensation of DNA into an ordered chromatin structure allows the cell to solve the topological problems associated with storing huge molecules of chromosomal DNA within the nucleus. DNA is packaged into chromatin in orderly repeating protein-DNA complexes called nucleosomes. Each nucleosome consists of approximately 146bp of dsDNA (double-stranded DNA) wound 1.8 times around a histone octamer (Ref.1). Two molecules each of H2A, H2B, H3, and H4 comprise the histone ramp around which the DNA superhelix winds. Stretches of DNA upto 100bp separate adjacent nucleosomes...

Circadian Clock in Mammals - New [ Details | Top ]
Circadian clocks are molecular time-keeping mechanisms that reside in a diverse range of cell types in a variety of organisms. The primary role of these cell-autonomous clocks is to maintain their own 24-hour molecular rhythm and to drive the rhythmic expression of genes involved in physiology, metabolism and behavior. The ability of the clock to persist in the absence of environmental cues provides internal temporal organization so that rhythmic activities can occur at characteristic times during the circadian cycle. In addition, two other clock properties, entrainment (that is, setting the clock to local time with respec...

CREB Pathway [ Details | Top ]
The process of consolidating a new memory and the dynamic complexity of information processing within neuronal networks is greatly increased by activity-dependent changes in gene expression within individual neurons. A leading paradigm of such regulation is the activation of the nuclear transcription factor CREB (cAMP Responsive Element Binding Protein), and its family members the ATF (Activating Transcription Factor) and CREM (cAMP Response Element Modulator), which belong to bZIP (basic/leucine zipper) class of transcription factors that functions in vivo to regulate the proliferation of pituitary cells and thymocytes...

Cyclins and Cell Cycle Regulation [ Details | Top ]
Progress in the eukaryotic cell cycle is driven by oscillations in the activities of CDKs (Cyclin-Dependent Kinases). CDK activity is controlled by periodic synthesis and degradation of positive regulatory subunits, Cyclins, as well as by fluctuations in levels of negative regulators, by CKIs (CDK Inhibitors), and by reversible phosphorylation. The mammalian cell cycle consists of four discrete phases: S-phase, in which DNA is replicated; M-phase, in which the chromosomes are separated over two new nuclei in the process of mitosis. These two phases are separated by two so called "Gap" phases, G1 and G2...

Cytokine Network [ Details | Top ]
The immune system recognizes the presence of pathogens by several proteins that bind to molecules secreted by the pathogen or carried on their surface. The cells responsible for these immune responses include the B-Cells, T-Cells, macrophages, neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, endothelial cells, or mast cells (Ref.1). These cells have distinct roles in the immune system, and communicate with other immune cells by cytokines, which control proliferation, differentiation and function of cells of the immune system. Furthermore, they are involved in processes of inflammation and in the neuronal, haematopoietic and embryonal development of an organism....

DNA Repair Mechanisms [ Details | Top ]
Cells are constantly under threat from the cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of DNA damaging agents. Environmental DNA-damaging agents include UV light and ionizing radiation, as well as a variety of chemicals encountered in foodstuffs, or as air- and water-borne agents. Endogenous damaging agents include metabolites that can act as alkylating agents and the ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) that arise during respiration. DNA repair enzymes continuously monitor chromosomes to correct damaged nucleotide residues generated by these exogenous and endogenous agents and exposure to carcinogens and cytotoxic compounds...

EGF Pathway [ Details | Top ]
EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor) is a small 53 amino acid residue protein that is involved in normal cell growth, oncogenesis, and wound healing. This protein shows both strong sequential and functional homology with hTGF-Alpha (human type-Alpha Transforming Growth Factor), which is a competitor for EGF receptor sites. EGF binds to a specific high-affinity, low-capacity receptor on the surface of responsive cells known as EGFR (Epidermal growth factor receptor). EGFR is a member of the ErbB (Erythroblastic Leukemia Viral Oncogene Homolog) family receptors, a subfamily of four closely related receptor tyrosine kinases...

ERK Signaling [ Details | Top ]
The MAPK (Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase) pathway is one of the primordial signaling systems that nature has used in several permutations to accomplish an amazing variety of tasks. It exists in all eukaryotes, and controls such fundamental cellular processes as Proliferation, Differentiation, Survival and Apoptosis. Mammalian MAPK can be divided into four groups based on their structure and function: ERKs (Extracellular signal-Regulated Kinases), p38MAPKs, JNKs (c-Jun NH2-terminal Kinases) and ERK5 (Extracellular signal-Regulated Kinase-5) or BMK. Activation of these MAPKs occurs through a cascade of upstream kinases...

Erythropoietin Pathway - New [ Details | Top ]
Erythropoiesis is one major pathway by which a pluripotent hematopoietic stem cell gives rise to mature end stage cells. Erythropoietin (Epo) is a lineage-specific hematopoietic cell required for survival, proliferation and differentiation of committed erythroid progenitor cells. Its major effects are to promote erythroid differentiation and to initiate hemoglobin synthesis. Therefore, Epo has been identified as the major hormone required for erythropoiesis. Epo exerts its function through the EpoR (Epo Receptor), a member of the classI Cytokine receptor family (Ref.1). Following binding of Epo to its receptor, the recepto...

Estrogen Pathway [ Details | Top ]
Estrogens play important roles in growth, development, reproduction, and maintenance of a diverse range of mammalian tissues. The physiological effects of estrogens are mediated by the intracellular ERs (Estrogen Receptors), which regulate transcription of target genes through binding to specific DNA target sequences. The ERs orchestrate both transcriptional and non-genomic functions in response to estrogens, xenoestrogens and signals emanating from growth factor signalling pathways. The pleiotropic and tissue-specific effects of estrogens are mediated by the differential expression of two distinct ER subtypes: ER-Alpha and ER-Beta...

Fas Signaling [ Details | Top ]
Fas (also called Apo1 or CD95) is a death domain-containing member of the TNFR (Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor) superfamily. It has a central role in the physiological regulation of Programmed Cell Death and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of various malignancies and diseases of the immune system. Although the FasL (Fas Ligand)-Fas system has been appreciated mainly with respect to its death-inducing function, it also transduces proliferative and activating signals through pathways that are still poorly defined. The Fas Receptor induces an apoptotic signal by binding to....

FGF Pathway [ Details | Top ]
Angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels, plays a key role in many physiological and pathological processes, such as ovulation, embryogenesis, wound repair, inflammation, malignant tumor growth, retinopathies, rheumatoid arthritis, and angiogenesis-dependent diseases. One of the best-characterized modulators of angiogenesis is the heparin-binding FGF (Fibroblast Growth Factor). FGF induces neovascularization in vivo and is implicated in the growth of new blood vessels during wound healing and embryogenesis. In vitro, FGF induces cell proliferation, migration, and production of proteases in endothelial cells by interacting...

Glucocorticoid Receptor Signaling [ Details | Top ]
Our bones get more brittle with increasing age, and to add insult to injury, the most effective therapy for another problem that is associated with getting older, rheumatoid arthritis, often adds to the problem by causing bone resorption. The Glucocorticoid steroids, are the best available anti-inflammatories, and are used widely in the treatment of arthritis, as well as other inflammatory conditions such as dermatitis and autoimmune diseases. The Glucocorticoids, secreted by the Adrenal Cortex are powerful anti-inflammatory compounds due to their ability to inhibit all stages of the inflammatory ...

GPCR Pathway [ Details | Top ]
GPCRs (Guanine Nucleotide Binding–Protein Coupled Receptors) comprise large and diverse gene families in fungi, plants, and the animal kingdom. Also termed serpentine receptors, GPCRs are polytopic membrane proteins that share a common structure with seven transmembrane segments, but sequence similarity is minimal among the most distant GPCRs. Their principal function is to transmit information about the extracellular environment to the interior of the cell, and they do this by interacting with the G-proteins. GPCRs recognize a variety of ligands and stimuli including peptide and non-peptide hormones and neurotransmitters...

Growth Hormone Signaling [ Details | Top ]
Most aging individuals die from atherosclerosis, cancer, or dementia; but in the oldest old, loss of muscle strength resulting in frailty is the limiting factor for an individual's chances of living an independent life until death. Three hormonal systems show decreasing circulating hormone concentrations during normal aging: (i) estrogen (in menopause) and testosterone (in andropause), (ii) dehydroepiandrosterone and its sulphate (in adrenopause), and (iii) the growth hormone/IGF1 axis (in somatopause). Physical changes during aging have been considered physiologic, but there is evidence that some of these changes are related to this decline in hormonal activity...

GSK 3 Signaling [ Details | Top ]
GSK3 (Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3) is a ubiquitously expressed, highly conserved serine/threonine protein kinase found in all eukaryotes. Identified originally as a regulator of glycogen metabolism, GSK3 acts as a downstream regulatory switch for numerous signaling pathways, including cellular responses to WNT, Growth Factors, Insulin, RTK (Receptor Tyrosine Kinases), Hedgehog pathways, and GPCR (G-Protein-Coupled Receptors) and is involved in a wide range of signal transduction cascades involving cellular processes, ranging from glycogen metabolism, cell development, gene transcription, protein translation to cytoskeletal organization...

HGF - New [ Details | Top ]
HGF (Hepatocyte Growth Factor)/SF (Scatter Factor) is a mesenchymal- or stromal-derived multipotent heparan sulfate-binding and dermatan sulfate-binding pleiotropic polypeptide that mediates epithelial-mesenchymal interactions with mitogenic, motogenic and morphogenic activities towards many normal and neoplastic epithelial cells. Initially identified as a potent hepatotrophic factor responsible for vigorous regeneration of the liver, it has now become a well characterized multipotent cytokine with biological functions that reach far beyond the original identifications, operating in virtually every tissue of the body, the...

HIF1Alpha Pathway [ Details | Top ]
The cellular response to O2 (oxygen) is a central process in animal cells and figures prominently in the pathophysiology of several diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. This process is coordinated by the HIF (Hypoxia-Inducible Factor) and its regulator, the pVHL (Von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein). HIF1 is a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor that transactivates genes encoding proteins that participate in homeostatic responses to hypoxia. It induces expression of proteins controlling glucose metabolism, cell proliferation, and vascularization. Several genes...

ILK Signaling - New [ Details | Top ]
The ECM (Extracellular Matrix) provides the structural framework for the formation of tissues and organs. The ECM binds to substrate adhesion molecules on the surface of cells and influences various intracellular signaling pathways that regulate survival, proliferation, polarity and differentiation. The important families of adhesion molecules that bind to the ECM are the Integrins. Integrins consist of Alpha and Beta-subunits and are composed of large extracellular domains and relatively small cytoplasmic domains (Ref.1 & 2). Ligand binding activates signaling cascades that lead to the assembly of a multiprotein complex a...

Integrin Signaling Pathway [ Details | Top ]
Adhesive interactions between cells and ECM (Extracellular Matrix) proteins play a vital role in biological processes, including cell survival, growth, differentiation, migration, inflammatory responses, platelet aggregation, tissue repair and tumor invasion (Ref.4) and perturbing this coordination can lead to events such as malignant transformation. The major groups of proteins mediating these interactions are a family of cell surface receptors known as Integrins, named for their role in integrating the intracellular cytoskeleton with the ECM. The signals from these adhesion receptors are integrated with those originating from growth factor receptors...

MAPK Signaling [ Details | Top ]
Intracellular signaling cascades are the main routes of communication between the Plasma membrane and regulatory targets in various intracellular compartments. Sequential activation of Kinases is a common mechanism of signal transduction in many cellular processes. During the past decade, several related intracellular signaling cascades have been elucidated, which are collectively known as MAPK (Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase) signaling cascades. The MAPKs are a group of protein Serine/threonine Kinases that are activated in response to a variety of extracellular stimuli and mediate ....

Mismatch Repair - New [ Details | Top ]
In all organisms, DNA repair processes are crucial to maintain the integrity of the genome through the generations. Many animals minimize the number of cell divisions and thus the chance to accumulate mutations from one to the next generation. The DNA MMR (Mismatch Repair) apparatus has an important function in stabilizing the genome, and the protein components of this system are highly conserved in all pro- and eukaryotic systems. The MMR system is responsible for the post-replicative repair of mismatches and small single stranded DNA loops, and it is critically involved in preventing recombination between homologous DNA...

NGF Pathway [ Details | Top ]
One of the most fundamental issues in current biology is how to maintain the critical balance between cell survival and death, both during development and in adulthood. Unrestrained cell division and survival leads to various forms of tumor, while excessive or premature cell death may lead to a variety of diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Multiple Sclerosis. In the nervous system, a family of Neurotrophins, which includes NGF (Nerve Growth Factor), BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor), NT3 (Neurotrophin3) and NT4/5 (Neurotrophin-4/5), maintains this critical balance of cell survival and death. The best characterized of these...

Notch Signaling [ Details | Top ]
The Notch signaling pathway is a fundamental signaling system used by neighboring cells to communicate with each other in order to assume their proper developmental role. Notch proteins are cell surface transmembrane-spanning receptors which mediate critically important cellular functions through direct cell-cell contact. Interaction between Notch and its proposed ligands initiates a signaling cascade that governs cell fate decisions such as differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis in numerous tissue types. The core elements of the Notch signaling system include the Notch receptor...

p53 Signaling [ Details | Top ]
p53 is a tumour suppressor protein that regulates the expression of a wide variety of genes involved in Apoptosis, Growth arrest, Inhibition of cell cycle progression, Differentiation and accelerated DNA repair or Senescence in response to Genotoxic or Cellular Stress. As a transcription factor, p53 is composed of an N-terminal Activation Domain, a central specific DNA Binding Domain, and a C-terminal Tetramerization Domain, followed by a Regulatory Domain rich in basic Amino acids. Having a short half-life, p53 is normally maintained at low levels in unstressed mammalian cells by continuous ubiquitylation and subsequent degradation by the 26S Proteasome...

PTEN Pathway [ Details | Top ]
Tumorigenesis is the result of abnormal activation of growth programs in the cells. Cancer cells escape normal growth control mechanisms as a consequence of activating mutations, or increased expression of one or more cellular protooncogenes, and/or inactivating mutations, or decreased expression of one or more tumor suppressor genes. Most oncogene and tumor suppressor gene products are components of signal transduction pathways that control cell cycle entry or exit, promote differentiation, sense DNA damage and initiate repair mechanisms, or regulate cell death programs....

Ras Pathway [ Details | Top ]
Ras is a membrane-associated guanine nucleotide-binding protein that is normally activated in response to the binding of extracellular signals, such as growth factors, RTKs (Receptor Tyrosine Kinases), TCR (T-Cell Receptors) and PMA (Phorbol-12 Myristate-13 Acetate). Ras signaling affects many cellular functions, which includes cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration, fate specification, and differentiation. Ras acts as a binary signal switch cycling between ON and OFF states, which are characterized in terms of a small molecule, a guanine nucleotide, bound to the protein. In the resting cell, Ras is tightly bound to GDP...

STAT3 Pathway - New [ Details | Top ]
STATs (Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription) are a family of cytoplasmic proteins with SH2 (Src Homology-2) domains that act as signal messengers and transcription factors and participate in normal cellular responses to Cytokines and GFs (Growth Factors). STATs are activated via the tyrosine phosphorylation cascade after ligand binding and stimulation of the Cytokine Receptor-Kinase complex and Growth Factor-Receptor complex like the EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor), FGF (Fibroblast Growth Factor), PDGF (Platelet-Derived Growth Factor), GCSF (Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor), IL-6 (Interleukin-6), CNTF (Ci...

SUMO Pathway - New [ Details | Top ]
Covalent modifications of proteins, such as phosphorylation, acetylation and ubiquitylation, play an important role in most cellular processes because they can cause rapid changes in the activities of pre-existing proteins. This type of mechanism for regulating protein function is especially crucial in signal transduction pathways and in cell cycle. The Ubiquitin System is one of the major protein-modification systems required for the highly selective turnover of specific proteins in eukaryotic cells. These ubiquitin-like proteins modulate protein function in the cell through reversible post-translational modification, whi...

TGF-Beta Pathway [ Details | Top ]
Cell proliferation in somatic tissues, specification of cell fate during embryogenesis, differentiation and cell death are controlled by a multitude of cell–cell signals and loss of this control has devastating consequences. Prominent among these regulatory signals is the TGF-Beta (Transforming Growth Factor) super family, which comprises a large and diverse group of polypeptide morphogens including the prototype of the family–the TGF-Beta themselves as well as the BMPs (Bone Morphogenetic Proteins), and the GDFs (Growth and Differentiation Factors) (Ref.1). The members of the TGF-Beta family are expressed in distinct temporal...

Transcription of mRNA [ Details | Top ]
Transcription is the process through which a DNA sequence is enzymatically copied by an RNA polymerase to produce a complementary RNA. Transcription can also be defined as a process that transcribes genetic information from DNA into RNA. In eukaryotes, it takes place in the nucleus, mitochondria and chloroplast. Transcription is performed by DNA-directed RNA Polymerases. Unlike DNA Polymerases, RNA Polymerases do not need a primer to start the reaction. While Bacteria contain only 1 RNA Polymerase, there are 3 different RNA polymerases in eukaryotic cells, which catalyzes the synthesis of three types of RNA...

WNT Signaling [ Details | Top ]
The development of tissues and organs in multicellular organisms is controlled by the interplay of several signaling pathways that cross talk to provide positional information and induce cell fate specification. Together with other families of secreted factors such as TGF-Betas (Transforming Growth Factor-Betas), FGFs (Fibroblast Growth Factors), Hedgehog and Notch proteins, WNT (Wingless-Type MMTV Integration Site Family) Growth Factors are crucially implicated in these processes. The WNT genes encode a large family of secreted protein growth factors that have been identified in animals from Hydra to Human...