Cellular Signal ‘Gosipping’ (English)

Hey, did you know? Last night when I was taking a stroll with Manish, suddenly we bumped into Neil and Riri. They were holding hands and then bla bla bla… And, ugh, after that I felt bla blueh bleh…

           The dialog shown above is one of the conversation, which I often heard, from my girl friends (not girlfriends, I don’t even have any at the moment, sadly speaking). The conversation which is, actually, capable to fills the gloomy and lonely days of ours. The conversation which had became a media for us to communicate and gather information. The conversation which, at a glimpse, seems to has no end and, strangely enough, would never run out of topic every day. The conversation which, seems had, became the first to check in our To-Do List, when we’re hanging out with friends, especially for the girls. What kind of conversation am I talking about, anyway?

Well, let me give you some clues:

Firstly, This conversation is widely popular among girls

Secondly, This conversation is commonly used by using this kind of system: Source of information/Informant à First Receiver à Second Receiver à Third, Fourth Receiver, and so on

Thirdly, The main function of this kind of conversation is to relay information from one source, which is the informant, to one another continuously. So that the majority of others know about it.

Yepp, the kind of conversation that I’m talking about is: Gossip, a kind of information gathering which depends on the continuously relay of information from one person to the others. Gossiping seems like to have already become something non-unfamiliar for us, whoever we are and wherever we are, it can be stated for sure that we had ever participated in it. No matter if we acknowledge it or not. No matter if we remember in doing so or not.

And, curiously speaking, the stereotype of gossiping had, since many years ago, become a distinct characteristic of females, although, in some cases, males are also willing to take a role in it. Or to be precise, are curious to know some up to date information from our surroundings.

Since the desire to know, based on advanced form of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, is one of the things that we, as humans, considered to be important to be fulfilled. Thus, creating the overwhelming urge in ourselves, consciously or not, to gather as much information as we could. And gossip, for some people, provided the decent fulfillment for that necessity.

Although the authenticity and credibility of the information in gossip is highly questionable, but, well, that’s not the point here actually.

The point is the way or method of how the gossip was spread and being relayed is, in fact, pretty much similar to one of the metabolic process in our body, which called Cellular Signal Transduction/CST.  The main function of this process is to relay the information from the extra-cellular environment into the cell, which will then react accordingly to the information given.

For example: The glucagon hormone in the blood stream will tell the hepatocytes in our liver, whether it should increase the glycogen level or not.

And, the main and unique feature of this process, which is somewhat similar to gossip, is the continuously relay of information from one molecule to the others, which is called cascade. The continuously relay of information, which was started from the outer membrane-receptor, to the intracellular signal transducers (including second messenger and other proteins), then to the effecter protein, which then will have a specific reaction according to the information given, has the role of enhancing and strengthening the information’s signal.

In other words, the longer the cascade is, that means that the more important the information that was being relayed. Pretty much similar to gossip: the more people know about it, then the more interesting and ‘important’ the gossip really is, isn’t it?

Furthermore, the process of CST is somewhat resembled the one that of the gossip:

First, The first process of CST is the binding of information-carrying molecules, which is called ligand, to the specific outer membrane-receptors. There are a lot of ligands in our body, such as: hormones (Glucagon, Angiotensin, Vasopressin etc) Acetylcholine, etc. This process, simply speaking, is the analogy of the relay of gossip information from the informant to the first receiver.

Second, After the ligand has bind to the receptor, it will trigger the next molecules to active:intracellular signal transducers. This molecules, which is consisted of: second messenger, such as cGMP and cAMP (nucleotides), Calcium ion, DAG (lipid), etc; and other protein molecules, such as G-Protein, Adaptor Protein, Schaffold Protein, Protein Kinase/Phosphate, etc, served the role of enhancing and strengthening the information’s signal.  This is similar to the relay of the gossip news from the first receiver to the second receiver, or from the second receiver to the third receiver, and so on.

Third, The activation of the intracellular signal transducers will activate the other molecules, known as the effecter protein, which is functioned to give a response according to the information that has been relayed. This is the final process of the ‘gossip cascade’, when every related components have served their role in relaying the information and the accordingly response has been commenced.

Based on that simple explanation, it can be concluded that thanks to the ‘gossiping’ of the related components which composed our cells, we’re able to maintain our metabolic process, which has supported our life up until now. So, frankly speaking, are we being maintained and supported through gossip? Unfortunately, it seems so. But, as long as we use that ‘gossip’ for the good of others, it’s okay right? Just like how our body is ‘gossiping’ through the Cellular Signal Transduction pathways.

I’m joking, there’s basically no good in gossip.

But anyway, thanks for reading the article!


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