Precursor - Neuropedia


Precursors are part of biochemical reactions that lead to the formation of various compounds.[1]

One example is cholesterol, which acts as a precursor and gives rise to the production of numerous steroid hormones, such as androgens, estrogen, prostagens, glucocorticoids, and mineralocorticoids. Precursors have different definitions when viewed from the biological, chemical, and biochemical perspectives.

Other examples include glutamine and n-acetyl cysteine (NAC), both of which are precursors to glutathione, an important antioxidant for humans.

Precursor Cells

From the biological perspective, precursor cells are partially differentiated cells that possess the ability to convert into a specialized cell.

Precursor cells are also known as blast cells and unipotent cells. One example of a blast cell would be that of lymphoblasts, which further differentiate to form a lymphocyte. Unipotent cells retain only limited stem cell features. Unlike multipotent stem cells, precursor cells can not differentiate into a large variety of specialized cells.

Examples Of Precursor Cells

  • Angioblast
  • Bone marrow precursor cells
  • Meiocyte
  • Melanoblast
  • Myeloblast
  • Megakaryoblast
  • Myeloid precursor cells
  • Normoblast
  • Oligodendrocyte
  • Promegakaryocyte
  • Thymocyte

Precursor Molecules

When viewed from the biochemical perspective, precursor molecules are a combination of the above mentioned. One of their salient features is that they precede one another when participating in a biochemical reaction.