AAT Bioquest

What are the main components of cell-surface receptors?

Posted May 3, 2023


Cell-surface receptors are transmembrane proteins. They lie embedded in the plasma membrane and are made up of three main components: 

  1. An external ligand-binding domain, also known as the extracellular domain or recognition domain - it is exposed to the cell’s outer surface
  2. A hydrophobic domain that spans the plasma membrane – it is made up of hydrophobic protein molecules
  3. An intracellular domain or coupling domain – it is in contact with the cytoplasm in the cell and often sends the signals

Each of these domains vary in terms of size and extent, depending on the type of receptor. 

Additional resources

Interplay between Cell-Surface Receptors and Extracellular Matrix in Skin

Plasma Membrane

Cell Navigator® Cell Plasma Membrane Staining Kit *Green Fluorescence*