Part I: Molecular Biology
Melatonin Receptors and Signal Transduction MechanismsBarrett P.a · Morris M.a · Choi W.-S.b · Ross A.a · Morgan P.J.a
aMolecular Neuroendocrinology Unit, Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen, UK; bPharmacology and Toxicology Laboratory, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kon-Kuk University, Seoul, South Korea
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The ovine pars tuberalis (PT) still offers the best model for the study of signal transduction pathways regulated by the melatonin receptor. From the evidence accumulated so far, it seems likely that the cAMP signal transduction pathway will be a major effector of a stimulatory signal to the PT which can be regulated by melatonin. Thus a principal action of melatonin in the PT may be the repression of biochemical processes driven by cAMP. However, through the phenomenon of sensitization, melatonin may also act to amplify a stimulatory input to the cAMP signal transduction pathway in the PT. These events are mediated via the melatonin receptor, which is itself a target for regulation by the melatonin signal. Studies using the PT have identified several signalling pathways that may serve to positively or negatively regulate the expression of the melatonin receptor. These and other studies in the PT have alluded to cAMP-independent pathways regulated by the melatonin receptor.
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