Here’s Why We Love Signaling Molecules

on 06.09.2017 / by Daniel Thrasher / 2 comments in Research, Thoughts

Cells are a lot like people: they have different jobs to do, and they need to work together to get them done. But rather than communicate using text messages or video chats, cells rely on chemical messengers called signaling molecules.

Here at Burst Biologics, we make a big deal about signaling molecules. Cell phone communicationThat’s because biologic products without functional signaling molecules are like cell phones without a cell signal – they just don’t work.

To understand the need for signaling molecules like growth factors and cytokines in regenerative medicine, let’s take a closer look at how signaling molecules operate at the cellular level.

Signaled and Delivered

All multicellular organisms – including plants and animals – rely on the interactions among cells in order to survive. One great example of cell communication is the hormone insulin, which springs into action to clear the sugar from your bloodstream after eating.  

But how does this signaling stuff work, exactly?

Well, when your body needs something to happen, one of your cells will produce a signaling molecule (or ligand). This heads to a target cell and makes it do its job. The interaction between cells can take place over all kinds of distances:

  • Signaling molecules diagramDirect cell-cell communication (adjacent distances): Sends the signaling molecule through gap junctions between touching cells, like one person whispering in another person’s ear.
  • Autocrine (to self): Sends the signaling molecule to self, like someone who writes a note on their own hand.
  • Paracrine (short distances): Sends the signaling molecule locally, like someone passing along a note to a friend.
  • Endocrine (long distances): Sends the signaling molecule across the whole body, like shipping a message to a friend by postal service.

With so many different cells, there are a wide variety of signaling molecules that interact with them across a range of distances. And just like certain keys can only fit certain locks, the incoming signaling molecule must be the right fit for receptors on a cell’s surface or within the cell.

Only then can a cellular response take place.

The Signaling Molecule Cytokine’s Job

One of the most important classes of signaling molecules is the cytokine, which plays an essential role in inflammation and immunity.

Cell receptor for signaling moleculesMany diseases occur when there’s some defect in the process between receiving a signaling molecule and generating a cell response. Sometimes, the body just isn’t equipped to do it anymore. In our regenerative medicine products, it’s the newly introduced cellular derived molecules that come to the rescue – they carry signaling cues that guide the receptive cells in your body to heal, grow, or change. It’s a pretty incredible process!

Burst Biologics products feature some key cytokines, including the interleukins IL-1beta, IL-2, IL-6, and IL-10. These are autocrine and paracrine in nature, which means they are sent and received by the same cell or wander to nearby cells.

When interleukins and growth factors like these are introduced in a medical procedure, they help inform the target cells on how to do their jobs better. This is a potent avenue in medicine, and we’re excited to be on the cutting edge!

Better With Progenokine

Clearly, regenerative medicine and biologics wouldn’t be the same without signaling molecules. That’s why we’re proud of our patent pending Progenokine Process for preserving the signaling molecules in our products.

The methodology we follow ensures that our products have the greatest possible impact for patients. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

To learn more about our products containing signaling molecules, visit our products page!

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