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Cell Physiol Biochem. 1999;9(4-5):270-83.

Store-operated cation channels in the heart and cells of the cardiovascular system.

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Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Universität des Saarlandes, Homburg, Deutschland.


In many nonexcitable cells, activation of phospholipase C (PLC)-linked receptors results in a release of Ca(2+) from intracellular stores followed by a transmembrane Ca(2+) entry. This Ca(2+) entry underlies the sustained phase of [Ca(2+)](i) increase, is important for various cellular functions including gene expression, secretion and cell proliferation, and is supported by agonist-activated Ca(2+)-permeable ion channels. Ca(2+)-permeable channels which are activated by store depletion and which are therefore referred to as store- operated channels or SOCs form a major pathway for agonist-induced Ca(2+) influx. So far, the molecular structures of these channels have not been identified. Potential candidates are encoded by members of the TRP family, a class of ion channels initially discovered in Drosophila and involved in the PLC-dependent transduction of visual stimuli. Here, we review recent evidence that agonist-induced Ca(2+) influx and especially SOCs are present in different cell types of the heart and of the cardiovascular system and compare these findings with the possible functions and tissue-specific expression of mammalian TRP proteins.

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