Calcium and Proteases

R. G. Schnellmann, M. D. Covington

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Calcium ions (Ca2+) are key second messengers in a variety of eukaryotic cell signaling pathways, and they function in the regulation of diverse cellular processes. While it has become clear that Ca2+ stimulates many cellular processes, such as muscle contraction, cellular proliferation, gene expression, secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters, exocytosis, and chemotaxis, it has also been realized that Ca2+ is very toxic. Thus, the free intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) must be highly regulated to achieve a proper balance between Ca2+-mediated cell function and Ca2+-mediated cell death. The importance of intracellular calcium homeostasis is appreciated when one considers the number of subcellular compartments that function in regulating the [Ca2+]i as well as the diversity of cellular process that are controlled by Ca2+-signaling pathways. Each of these subcellular compartments can be targeted by chemicals or drugs, which can elicit an imbalance in intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis resulting in toxicity manifested as impaired cellular function or cell death. This chapter provides a basic understanding of the Ca2+ messenger system, Ca2+-activated proteases, such as calpains and PLA2, and their importance in cell injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCellular and Molecular Toxicology
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Pages587-608
Number of pages22
Volume2
ISBN (Print)9780080468686
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 12 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ca-ATPase
  • Calcium
  • Calcium channels
  • Calmodulin
  • Calpains
  • Proteases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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