A chemical that increases or decreases the strength of the signal a receptor sends into the cell.
A chemical that increases or decreases the strength of the signal a receptor sends into the cell. Allosteric modulators affect constitutive activity and agonists, but their effect will not necessarily be the same for all agonists of a receptor.
Summary from Wikipedia:
In pharmacology and biochemistry, allosteric modulators are a group of substances. Some of them, like benzodiazepines, are drugs. A modulator binds to a site in some receptor. This site (i.e., an allosteric site) is not the same one to which an endogenous activator of the receptor would bind (i.e., an orthosteric site). This natural activator could be a neurotransmitter. Receptor activators and inactivators are called agonists. Modulators are either positive, negative or neutral. Positive types increase and negative types lower the probability that an agonist will bind to a receptor (i.e. affinity) and/or its ability to activate/inactivate the receptor (i.e. efficacy). Neutral types don't affect agonist activity, but can stop other modulators from binding to a receptor. Some modulators also work as allosteric agonists. Modulators and agonists can be called receptor ligands.
The term "allosteric" derives from the Greek language. Allos means "other", and stereos, "solid" or "shape". This can be translated to "other shape", which indicates the conformational changes within receptors caused by the modulators through which the modulators affect the receptor function.Read more