The organisation and functions of local Ca2+ signals

Bootman, Martin D.; Lipp, Peter and Berridge, Michael J. (2001). The organisation and functions of local Ca2+ signals. Journal of cell science, 114 pp. 2213–2222.



Calcium (Ca2+) is a ubiquitous intracellular messenger, controlling a diverse range of cellular processes, such as gene transcription, muscle contraction and cell proliferation. The ability of a simple ion such as Ca2+ to play a pivotal role in cell biology results from the facility that cells have to shape Ca2+ signals in space, time and amplitude. To generate and interpret the variety of observed Ca2+ signals, different cell types employ components selected from a Ca2+ signalling 'toolkit', which comprises an array of homeostatic and sensory mechanisms. By mixing and matching components from the toolkit, cells can obtain Ca2+ signals that suit their physiology. Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of local Ca2+ signals in defining the specificity of the interaction of Ca2+ with its targets. Furthermore, local Ca2+ signals are the triggers and building blocks for larger global signals that propagate throughout cells.

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