Shaping the calcium signature


Authors for correspondence:
Jon Pittman
Tel: +44 161 275 5235
Fax:+44 161 275 5082
Martin McAinsh
Tel: +44 1524 593 929
Fax: +44 1524 593 192



  • Summary 275

  • I. Introduction 276
  • II. Ca2+ signalling pathways 276
  • III. Shaping Ca2+ signatures 278
  • IV. Ca2+ influx channels 278
  • V. Ca2+ influx channels as modulators of Ca2+ signatures 281
  • VI. Ca2+ efflux transporters 282
  • VII. Ca2+ efflux transporters as modulators of Ca2+ signatures 284
  • VIII. The shaping of noncytosolic Ca2+ signatures 285
  • IX. Future insights into the role of Ca2+ oscillators from modelling studies 287
  • X. Conclusions and perspectives 288
  • Acknowledgements 288

  • References 288


In numerous plant signal transduction pathways, Ca2+ is a versatile second messenger which controls the activation of many downstream actions in response to various stimuli. There is strong evidence to indicate that information encoded within these stimulus-induced Ca2+ oscillations can provide signalling specificity. Such Ca2+ signals, or ‘Ca2+ signatures’, are generated in the cytosol, and in noncytosolic locations including the nucleus and chloroplast, through the coordinated action of Ca2+ influx and efflux pathways. An increased understanding of the functions and regulation of these various Ca2+ transporters has improved our appreciation of the role these transporters play in specifically shaping the Ca2+ signatures. Here we review the evidence which indicates that Ca2+ channel, Ca2+-ATPase and Ca2+ exchanger isoforms can indeed modulate specific Ca2+ signatures in response to an individual signal.