Activation of signaling receptors: do ligands bind to receptor monomer, dimer, or both?
Department of Physics and Institute of Molecular Biophysics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA
BMC Biophysics 2013, 6:7 doi:10.1186/2046-1682-6-7Published: 3 June 2013
A recent study by Dietz et al. using single-molecule fluorescence microscopy techniques demonstrates that, in the absence of the ligand InlB, the MET receptor exists as both a monomer and a dimer on the cell membrane, and addition of the ligand leads to increased MET dimerization. Under the crowded conditions of the cell membrane, dimer formation may be a common phenomenon for cell surface receptors. Ligand binding to both monomeric and dimeric receptors may provide parallel routes to receptor activation.