This chapter is vaguely relevant to Section E(iii) of the 2017 CICM Primary Syllabus, which expect the exam candidate to "outline the role of cellular receptors and the function of secondary messengers". It may, therefore, on the surface appear to be a direct recapitulation of the chapter on mechanisms of drug-receptor interactions and the entire secondary messenger system section from the Pharmacodynamics section, except for the following facts:
As such, it was worth including this chapter in the Cell Physiology section, notwithstanding the fact that Question 23 from the first paper of 2013 specifically asked about this subject. As the college did not release the SAQ marks for this paper, it is impossible to say how the candidates performed in answering this specific question, but one can surely share a feeling of profound disappointment from the total written pass rate (30%) and the examiner's lamentations. "Answers lacked structure and depth", they complained, considering especially that the subject "is a very fundamental topic... covered within the opening chapters of most physiology texts". The aim of this chapter is therefore to generate a memorable structure, and hang from it what content could be feasibly written in ten minutes so to at least generate the impression of depth.
Which "opening chapters" should you read from "most physiology texts"? Of the official textbooks, Ganong's Review of Medical Physiology has the best summary in Chapter 2 (it gets good around page 50 of the 23rd edition), whereas the others really devote only a minimal attention to the subject. If one wishes to see what full attention to the subject might look like, one may look under the cover of the HandBook of Cell Signaling - the book itself covers all possible areas of this topic over 3 volumes and around 2300 pages. It doesn't actually contain any summary chapter of any sort, which might act as a reasonable compromise between reading the entire textbook or nothing at all; the reader is catapulted straight into chapters with titles like "Free Energy Landscapes in Protein–Protein Interactions".
Uings, I. J., and S. N. Farrow. "Cell receptors and cell signalling." Molecular Pathology 53.6 (2000): 295.
Bradshaw, Ralph A., and Edward A. Dennis. "Cell Signaling: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow." HandBook of Cell Signaling. Academic Press, 2010. 1-4.
Gao, Sizhi Paul, et al. "Mutations in the EGFR kinase domain mediate STAT3 activation via IL-6 production in human lung adenocarcinomas." The Journal of clinical investigation 117.12 (2007): 3846-3856.
Owen, Markus R., Jonathan A. Sherratt, and Simon R. Myers. "How far can a juxtacrine signal travel?." Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences266.1419 (1999): 579-585.