Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

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

Calcium in Biological Systems

  • Robert H. Kretsinger
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_66



The variation in the concentration of free Ca2+ ion within the cytosol over time is a form of information. This information can be transduced into a change in protein conformation and/or enzyme activity by interaction with a calcium-modulated protein(s).


Calcium is unique in biological systems. Ca2+ is the only metal cation demonstrated to function as a secondary messenger in the cytosol of eukaryotes. The information in this pulse of Ca2+ ions (Berridge 2006) is transduced into a change of conformation of a calcium-modulated protein(s). Many of these calcium-modulated proteins contain two to twelve tandem EF-hand domains. Others contain one or two C2 domains or four annexin domains. Numerous calcium channels and calcium pumps in the membranes of the cell and its various organelles, especially the endoplasmic reticulum, are involved in...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA