Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

2013 Edition
| Editors: Robert H. Kretsinger, Vladimir N. Uversky, Eugene A. Permyakov

Calcium in Health and Disease

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_47


Definition of the Subject

Calcium is involved in almost every cellular activity. As a second messenger it is a critical component of the signaling network. It, furthermore, links mitochondrial energy production by oxidative phosphorylation to the actual energy demand. As complex animals left the oceanic calcium-rich environment to adopt terrestrial life they carried with them a huge calcium reservoir in their bones that guarantees the supply of the hundred times smaller amount of calcium vital for cell survival by maintaining calcium homeostasis. In contrast, too much calcium in the cell under pathologic condition or physical cell lesion presents a death signal (cardiac infarction, brain stroke). The human genome contains over 200 genes coding for calcium binding proteins (primarily EF-hand proteins). Their functions and relations to disease are...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Pharmacology and ToxicologyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, Division of Clinical ChemistryUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland