The calcium-sensing receptor: one of a kind
Irene Lopez-Fernandez, Martin Schepelmann, Sarah C. Brennan, Polina L. Yarova and Daniela Riccardi
Article first published online: 26 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1113/EP085137
Daniela Riccardi has always been fascinated with how cells sense changes in their environment and their responses at the molecular and cellular through to whole-organism level. The extracellular calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) has the unique ability to sample the extracellular milieu and to integrate multiple stimuli into one output, in a manner that is both cell and signal dependent. In most cases this feature is a boon, but it can become a bane when non-physiological CaSR activators hijack this receptor, leading to CaSR overactivation, hence pathology. Since receiving the Wellcome Trust Prize for Excellence in Physiology in 2000, Daniela Riccardi's work has focused on elucidating the physiological roles of the CaSR in non-calciotrophic tissues, on the identification of tissue-specific physiopathological stimuli and on the use of pharmacological modulators of the CaSR to manipulate receptor function in diseases such as vascular calcification and asthma.