Receptors for peptide hormones and neurotransmitters are integral components of the plasma membrane of cells which serve to couple the external milieu to the intracellular regulators of metabolism. These macromolecules are usually high molecular weight glycoproteins, and in many cases appear to have more than one subunit capable of binding the hormone. The interaction of the hormone or neurotransmitter with its receptor is rapid, reversible, and of high affinity and specificity. Many receptors exhibit cooperative properties in hormone binding or biological function. The concentration of receptors on the membrane is a function of continued synthesis and degradation, and may be altered by a variety of factors including the hormone itself. The fluid mosaic nature of the membrane may allow hormone receptors and effectors to exist in free floating states. Further investigations of the hormone-receptor interaction will no doubt yield new insights into both the mechanism of hormone action and membrane structure and function.

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