Calcium signaling in physiology and pathophysiology

He-ping Cheng, Sheng Wei, Li-ping Wei, Alexei Verkhratsky


Calcium ions are the most ubiquitous and pluripotent cellular signaling molecules that control a wide variety of cellular processes. The calcium signaling system is represented by a relatively limited number of highly conserved transporters and channels, which execute Ca2+ movements across biological membranes and by many thousands of Ca2+-sensitive effectors. Molecular cascades, responsible for the generation of calcium signals, are tightly controlled by Ca2+ ions themselves and by genetic factors, which tune the expression of different Ca2+-handling molecules according to adaptational requirements. Ca2+ ions determine normal physiological reactions and the development of many pathological processes.

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