Calcium signalling

Calcium signalling is activated by calcium ions that are released from intracellular stores, or enter the cell via plasma membrane ion channels. Calcium is an important second messenger that regulates many cellular activities, including fertilisation, secretion, neurotransmission and cell migration.

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Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Pancreatic β-cells are highly connected, and this network is crucial for the pulsatile release of insulin. Here Salem and colleagues demonstrated the existence of leader β-cells that respond first to glucose and are more closely linked to the other β-cells. They also showed that glucose increases β-cell calcium dynamics and connectivity between the leader and non-leader β-cells.

    • Victoria Salem
    • , Luis Delgadillo Silva
    • , Kinga Suba
    • , Eleni Georgiadou
    • , S. Neda Mousavy Gharavy
    • , Nadeem Akhtar
    • , Aldara Martin-Alonso
    • , David C. A. Gaboriau
    • , Stephen M. Rothery
    • , Theodoros Stylianides
    • , Gaelle Carrat
    • , Timothy J. Pullen
    • , Sumeet Pal Singh
    • , David J. Hodson
    • , Isabelle Leclerc
    • , A. M. James Shapiro
    • , Piero Marchetti
    • , Linford J. B. Briant
    • , Walter Distaso
    • , Nikolay Ninov
    •  & Guy A. Rutter
    Nature Metabolism 1, 615-629
  • Research | | open

    Although calcium signals are known to be critical for many cellular processes, how signaling elicits specific functions remains unclear. In visually striking work, Duan et al. reveal that networks of cytoplasmic nanocourses orchestrate cell activity by directing site-specific calcium signals.

    • Jingxian Duan
    • , Jorge Navarro-Dorado
    • , Jill H. Clark
    • , Nicholas P. Kinnear
    • , Peter Meinke
    • , Eric C. Schirmer
    •  & A. Mark Evans
  • Research |

    Carreras-Sureda et al. uncover a non-canonical role for IRE1α as a scaffold that stabilizes InsP3Rs at MAMs to control calcium uptake, fine-tunes ER–mitochondrial communication and regulates energy metabolism via AMPK.

    • Amado Carreras-Sureda
    • , Fabián Jaña
    • , Hery Urra
    • , Sylvere Durand
    • , David E. Mortenson
    • , Alfredo Sagredo
    • , Galdo Bustos
    • , Younis Hazari
    • , Eva Ramos-Fernández
    • , Maria L. Sassano
    • , Philippe Pihán
    • , Alexander R. van Vliet
    • , Matías González-Quiroz
    • , Angie K. Torres
    • , Cheril Tapia-Rojas
    • , Martijn Kerkhofs
    • , Rubén Vicente
    • , Randal J. Kaufman
    • , Nibaldo C. Inestrosa
    • , Christian Gonzalez-Billault
    • , R. Luke Wiseman
    • , Patrizia Agostinis
    • , Geert Bultynck
    • , Felipe A. Court
    • , Guido Kroemer
    • , J. César Cárdenas
    •  & Claudio Hetz
    Nature Cell Biology 21, 755-767
  • Research | | open

    Polycystin-2 (PC2) is an ion channel commonly found mutated in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. Here Arhatte et al. identify transmembrane protein 33 (TMEM33) as a regulator of PC2 function at the endoplasmic reticulum, and find that deletion of TMEM33 protects mice from acute kidney injury.

    • Malika Arhatte
    • , Gihan S. Gunaratne
    • , Charbel El Boustany
    • , Ivana Y. Kuo
    • , Céline Moro
    • , Fabrice Duprat
    • , Magali Plaisant
    • , Hélène Duval
    • , Dahui Li
    • , Nicolas Picard
    • , Anais Couvreux
    • , Christophe Duranton
    • , Isabelle Rubera
    • , Sophie Pagnotta
    • , Sandra Lacas-Gervais
    • , Barbara E. Ehrlich
    • , Jonathan S. Marchant
    • , Aaron M. Savage
    • , Fredericus J. M. van Eeden
    • , Robert N. Wilkinson
    • , Sophie Demolombe
    • , Eric Honoré
    •  & Amanda Patel
  • Research | | open

    ORAI1 constitutes the store-operated Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channel, but how this channel is turned off through Ca2+-dependent inactivation (CDI) remained unclear. Here the authors identify a spatially-restricted Ca2+/cAMP signaling crosstalk critical for mediating CDI which in turn regulates cellular Ca2+ signals and NFAT activation.

    • Xuexin Zhang
    • , Trayambak Pathak
    • , Ryan Yoast
    • , Scott Emrich
    • , Ping Xin
    • , Robert M. Nwokonko
    • , Martin Johnson
    • , Shilan Wu
    • , Céline Delierneux
    • , Maxime Gueguinou
    • , Nadine Hempel
    • , James W. Putney Jr.
    • , Donald L. Gill
    •  & Mohamed Trebak

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Ion channels and transporters can integrate environmental cues in the cell. In addition to governing calcium homeostasis, a chloroplast envelope-localized calcium channel is now characterized to implicate chloroplast calcium signalling in drought tolerance.

    • Simon Stael
    Nature Plants 5, 559-560
  • News and Views |

    IRE1α is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) transmembrane protein known for a crucial role in regulating the unfolding protein response. A study now shows that IRE1α interacts with the main ER Ca2+ channel InsP3Rs and facilitates the transfer of Ca2+ from the ER into mitochondria, thus driving cellular metabolism.

    • Roland Malli
    •  & Wolfgang F. Graier
    Nature Cell Biology 21, 667-668
  • Research Highlights |

    Doreen Cantrell describes a 2005 paper by Graham Hardie and colleagues showing that Ca2+–calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinases could phosphorylate and activate AMPK, which suggested a biochemical link between T cell receptor signalling and ATP production.

    • Doreen A. Cantrell
  • Research Highlights |

    Stefan Feske and colleagues show that calcium signalling in TH17 cells promotes a pathogenic phenotype by regulating mitochondrial function and the antioxidant response.

    • Kirsty Minton