Every cell in an organism is exposed to hundreds of different signals from its environment. The cell can respond to these signals in a variety of ways, and does so independently. However, all of these independent actions come together in a very complex and interconnected pathway of communication that governs basic cellular activities and coordinates cell actions.
The ability of cells to perceive and correctly respond to their microenvironment is the basis of development, tissue repair, and immunity as well as normal tissue homeostasis. Errors in cellular information processing can be responsible for diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity, and diabetes. By understanding the fundamentals of cell signaling, researchers hope to be able to develop new drugs and treat them selectively and effectively.
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