Byron Goldstein, Los Alamos National Laboratories
For many receptor families including the growth factor receptors, the cytokine receptors and the multisubunit immune response receptors, aggregation of these receptors is crucial for the turning on and off of cellular responses. After introducing these systems we briefly review the theory for a bivalent ligand interacting with a bivalent receptor and compare biological responses to the predicted distribution of receptor aggregates. We discuss why knowing the equilibrium distribution of aggregates is often insufficient to predict responses and briefly touch on some of the properties that make an aggregate a viable signaling unit.
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