Regulation of Ion Channels by the Calcium Signaling Network in Plant Cells

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Abstract

Free calcium (Ca2+) has been considered as a second messenger in all eukaryotes. In response to many extracellular signals, plants often alter cellular Ca2+ status, and such changes in many cases are required and sufficient for downstream responses. The specific Ca2+ changes triggered by different signals are reflected by not only the concentration but also the temporal and spatial patterns, forming the so-called “Ca2+ signature” for each of the different signals. In decoding such Ca2+ signatures, plants cells express and organize a large number of sensors that recognize the Ca2+ signals and transmit the signals into downstream cellular responses. One of the cellular targets for such Ca2+ sensors is the ion channels that are involved in a variety of cellular processes. Such ion channels can be regulated by Ca2+ signaling in many ways including both transcriptional and posttranslational modifications. Here, we review the recent studies and conclusions on the ion channel regulation by various signaling pathways involving calcium sensors and their targets.