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The actions of many extracellular stimuli are elicited by complexes of cell surface receptors, heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide–binding proteins (G proteins), and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase complexes. Analysis of haploid yeast cells and their response to peptide mating pheromones has produced important advances in our understanding of G protein and MAP kinase signaling mechanisms. Many of the components, their interrelationships, and their regulators were first identified in yeast. Current analysis of the pheromone response pathway (see the Connections Maps at Science's Signal Transduction Knowledge Environment) will benefit from new and powerful genomic, proteomic, and computational approaches that will likely reveal additional general principles that are applicable to more complex organisms.