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Biochem J. 2013 Jan 15;449(2):449-57. doi: 10.1042/BJ20120898.

Generation and characterization of a lysosomally targeted, genetically encoded Ca(2+)-sensor.

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  • 1The Physiological Laboratory, Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Institute of Translational Medicine, University of Liverpool, Crown St, Liverpool L69 3BX, UK.

Abstract

Distinct spatiotemporal Ca2+ signalling events regulate fundamental aspects of eukaryotic cell physiology. Complex Ca2+ signals can be driven by release of Ca2+ from intracellular organelles that sequester Ca2+ such as the ER (endoplasmic reticulum) or through the opening of Ca2+-permeable channels in the plasma membrane and influx of extracellular Ca2+. Late endocytic pathway compartments including late-endosomes and lysosomes have recently been observed to sequester Ca2+ to levels comparable with those found within the ER lumen. These organelles harbour ligand-gated Ca2+-release channels and evidence indicates that they can operate as Ca2+-signalling platforms. Lysosomes sequester Ca2+ to a greater extent than any other endocytic compartment, and signalling from this organelle has been postulated to provide 'trigger' release events that can subsequently elicit more extensive Ca2+ signals from stores including the ER. In order to investigate lysosomal-specific Ca2+ signalling a simple method for measuring lysosomal Ca2+ release is essential. In the present study we describe the generation and characterization of a genetically encoded, lysosomally targeted, cameleon sensor which is capable of registering specific Ca2+ release in response to extracellular agonists and intracellular second messengers. This probe represents a novel tool that will permit detailed investigations examining the impact of lysosomal Ca2+ handling on cellular physiology.

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