Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

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

Calcium, Local and Global Cell Messenger

  • Martin D. Bootman
  • Rüdiger Thul
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_481



All eukaryotic cells use ionized calcium (Ca2+) as a messenger. An increase or decrease of Ca2+ concentration in the cytosol, or in organellar compartments, can lead to changes in cell function, structure, or viability. To encode information and control specific cellular processes, Ca2+ signals need to be temporally and spatially regulated. The diffusive movement of Ca2+ within cells is critical in turning local signals into whole-cell (global) events. Cells possess mechanisms to both aid and hinder the spread of Ca2+, depending on their physiological context. Furthermore, Ca2+ channels themselves are regulated by Ca2+ to provide either positive or negative feedback control of Ca2+ fluxes.


Ca2+ is a versatile intracellular messenger. Cellular Ca2+signals can span from brief, nanoscopic flickers, close to the mouth of channels, up to global events...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Life, Health and Chemical SciencesThe Open University Walton HallMilton KeynesUK
  2. 2.School of Mathematical SciencesUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK