AAT Bioquest

What are the most common second messengers?

Posted November 13, 2020


The following table lists common second messengers and their associated pathways:

Second Messenger Signaling PathwayFunction(s)
CalciumPhosphoinositol PathwayAn increase in cytosolic calcium concentrations triggers various responses such as muscle contraction, exocytosis, T lymphocyte activation, cell adhesion and apoptosis.
Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)cAMP or Adenylyl Cyclase Signaling PathwayActivates protein kinase A (PKA), a cAMP-dependent kinase that phosphorylates proteins. Regulates gene transcription.
Cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)cGMP Signaling PathwayActivates protein kinase G (PKG), a cGMP-dependent kinase that phosphorylates proteins.
Inositol triphosphate (IP3)Phosphoinositol PathwayBinds to calcium channels located on the endoplasmic reticulum, trigger the release of calcium into the cytosol.
Diacylglycerol (DAG)Phosphoinositol PathwayActivates protein kinase C (PKC), a calcium-dependent kinase that phosphorylates proteins.


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