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Trends Biochem Sci. 2011 Feb;36(2):78-87. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2010.07.013. Epub 2010 Aug 31.

Decoding cytosolic Ca2+ oscillations.

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Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Sherrington Building, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PT, UK.


A rise in cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration is used as a universal signalling mechanism to control biological processes as diverse as exocytosis, contraction, cell growth and cell death. Ca(2+) signals are often presented to cells in the form of Ca(2+) oscillations, with signalling information encoded in both amplitude and frequency of the Ca(2+) spikes. Recent studies have revealed that the sub-cellular spatial profile of the Ca(2+) oscillation is also important in activating cellular responses, thereby suggesting a new mechanism for extracting information from the ubiquitous Ca(2+) oscillation.

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