How are signals transduced across the cytoplasmic membrane? Transport proteins as transmitter of information
In order to adapt to ever changing environmental conditions, bacteria sense environmental stimuli, and convert them into signals that are transduced intracellularly. Several mechanisms have evolved by which receptors transmit signals across the cytoplasmic membrane. Stimulus perception may trigger receptor dimerization and/or conformational changes. Another mechanism involves the proteolytic procession of a receptor whereby a diffusible cytoplasmic protein is generated. Finally, there is increasing evidence that transport proteins play an important role in transducing signals across the membrane. Transport proteins either directly translocate signaling molecules into the cytoplasm, or transmit information via conformational changes to their interacting partners such as membrane-integrated or soluble components of signal transduction cascades. Employing transport proteins as sensors and regulators of signal transduction represents a sophisticated way of interconnecting metabolic flux and transcriptional regulation in cells.