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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2003 Jul;4(7):530-8.

Extracellular calcium sensing and signalling.

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West Roxbury Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Room 2B111, 1400 VFW Parkway, West Roxbury, Massachusetts 02132, USA.


Ca2+ is well established as an intracellular second messenger. However, the molecular identification of a detector for extracellular Ca2+--the extracellular calcium-sensing receptor--has opened up the possibility that Ca2+ might also function as a messenger outside cells. Information about the local extracellular Ca2+ concentration is conveyed to the interior of many cell types through this unique G-protein-coupled receptor. Here, we describe new emerging concepts concerning the signalling function of extracellular Ca2+, with particular emphasis on the extracellular calcium-sensing receptor.

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