Cell-to-cell communication is much like passing notes in school, it can be direct or indirect. Much like cell communication, the purpose of passing the note is to get vital information form one person to the next. Without passing said note the information would not be transferred, but without cell communication everyone would die because cell communication is vital for life.
Overview of Pancreatic Cancer
The pancreas is approximately six inches long and is a part of the digestive system. Pancreatic cancer is autosomal and classified as a genetic disease meaning that it is caused by mutations in DNA. Said mutations can be inherited or developed after one is born and can continue to grow after one is deceased. This form of cancer is rarely detected early and spreads rapidly to nearby organs. The main treatments for pancreatic cancer include: chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and various surgeries.
Causes of Pancreatic Cancer
Normally, the pancreas gives off enzymes that aid in digestion and hormones that help control blood sugar. Like most other cancers, “pancreatic cancer occurs when cells in the pancreas grow, divide, and spread uncontrollably, forming a malignant tumor” (). The image below is a diagram that shows pancreatic cancer in the early stages. There is only one tumor on the outer tissue.
The next image is a photo of the liver that is covered in secondary tumors from the pancreas that shows how rapidly that cancer grows. The genes CDKN2A/p16/MTS are the most affected by pancreatic cancer. Chromosome arm 9p is the location of said genes.
Cell communication is a long and complex process that is executed through local or long distance signaling. In animals, local signaling is normally used for growth and repair and long distance signaling is used for the transferring of hormones. There are three stages of the signal transduction pathway: reception, transduction, and response. Reception is the identification of a ligand and is where the ligand begins to adhere to the membrane receptor protein. A ligand is an ion or molecule, such as insulin, that attaches to other molecules.
Plant and animal cells can affect neighboring cells directly through plasmodesmata and by gap junctions (a connection that allows molecules to pass through) joining cells directly to “neighboring” cells. Plasmodesmata is simply cytoplasm that can pass through cell walls. Protein kinase are a type of enzyme that transforms enzymes by a process known as phosphorylation.
During the process of a protein kinase cascade, processes are activated and the original signal is enhanced, also by phosphorylation. Cyclic Amp or cAmp is what is known as a second messenger, which means that it transmits signal inside of a cell for a short distance. In cell communication Cyclic Amp converts protein kinase A into an active form. When a cell receives a signal, transduction occurs and transcription is altered.