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Local Ca2+ influx through CRAC channels activates temporally and spatially distinct cellular responses


A. B. Parekh, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Oxford University, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PT, UK. E-mail:


Ca2+ entry through store-operated Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels controls a disparate array of key cellular responses. In this review, recent work will be described that shows local Ca2+ influx through CRAC channels has important spatial and temporal consequences on cell function. A localized Ca2+ rise below the plasma membrane activates, within tens of seconds, catabolic enzymes resulting in the generation of the intracellular messenger arachidonic acid and the paracrine pro-inflammatory molecule LTC4. In addition, local Ca2+ entry can activate gene expression, which develops over tens of minutes. Local Ca2+ influx through CRAC channels therefore has far-reaching consequences on intra- and intercellular communication.