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FEBS Lett. 2006 Sep 18;580(21):4979-83. Epub 2006 Aug 22.

'Quantal' Ca(2+) release reassessed--a clue to oscillation and synchronization.

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  • 1Department of Physiology I, Nara Medical University, Shijo-cho 840, Kashihara 634-8521, Japan.


Ca(2+) release from intracellular Ca(2+) stores, a pivotal event in Ca(2+) signaling, is a 'quantal' process; it terminates after a rapid release of a fraction of stored Ca(2+). To explain the 'quantal' nature, 'all-or-none' model and 'steady-state' model were proposed. This article shortly reviews these hypotheses and considers a recently proposed mechanism, 'luminal potential' model, in which the membrane potential of Ca(2+) store regulates Ca(2+) efflux. By reassessing the 'quantal' nature, other important features of Ca(2+) signaling, oscillation and synchronization, are highlighted. The mechanism for 'quantal' Ca(2+) release may underlie the temporal and spatial control of Ca(2+) signaling.

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