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J Cell Mol Med. 2004 Apr-Jun;8(2):161-8.

Intracellular calcium signals and control of cell proliferation: how many mechanisms?

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Department of Animal and Human Biology, University of Torino, Via Accademia Albertina 13, 10123, Torino, Italy.


The progression through the cell cycle in non-transformed cells is under the strict control of extracellular signals called mitogens, that act by eliciting complex cascades of intracellular messengers. Among them, increases in cytosolic free calcium concentration have been long realized to play a crucial role; however, the mechanisms coupling membrane receptor activation to calcium signals are still only partially understood, as are the pathways of calcium entry in the cytosol. This article centers on the role of calcium influx from the extracellular medium in the control of proliferative processes, and reviews the current understanding of the pathways responsible for this influx and of the second messengers involved in their activation.

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