DATABASE: How Cells Get the Message

Science  11 Jul 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5630, pp. 147
DOI: 10.1126/science.301.5630.147c

Without receptor molecules on its surface to capture chemical signals, a cell would be as clueless as a teenager without a mobile phone. These communiqués spur cells to grow, divide, and soak up sugar, among other functions. The Human Plasma Membrane Receptome database from the lab of Aaron Hsueh at Stanford University profiles more than 1000 receptors that stud the membranes of our cells. You can search by nucleotide sequence or receptor family or navigate a “concept map” that organizes receptor classes by function. The site provides each receptor's nucleotide sequence, results from microarray analyses of gene activity, links to other protein databases, and recent PubMed citations.

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