The elemental principles of calcium signaling

Bootman, Martin D. and Berridge, Michael J. (1995). The elemental principles of calcium signaling. Cell, 83(5) pp. 675–678.


Complexity of Intracellular Ca2+ Signals

Ca2+ is a ubiquitous intracellular signaling molecule controlling a wide array of cellular processes, including secretion, contraction, and cell proliferation (Berridge, 1993; Clapham, 1995). In resting cells, the intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) is maintained at approximately 10-100 nM, and during stimulation the average [Ca2+]i can rise up to several micromolar, depending on the cell type. Such Ca2+ signals have acomplex temporal and spatial arrangement, although the mechanisms underlying the complexity are not entirely clear. Tonic [Ca2+]i, increases do not occur in many cells. Instead, Ca2+ is frequently presented to the cytoplasm in a pulsatile manner, such as the repetitive Ca2+ spikes that drive the beating heart, the rapid subplasmalemmal [Ca2+]i increases that occur during depolarization of excitable cells, and the regular Ca2+ spikes (or oscillations) observed during hormonal stimulation of many nonexcitable cell types. The spatial correlate of a Ca2+ spike is a Ca2+ wave in which Ca2+ is initially elevated in a discrete region of the cell before spreading throughout the cell as a regenerative increase. Since information is encoded in the spatiotemporal patterns of these intracellular signals, much interest is now focused on how these complex Ca2+ signals are generated.

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