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Cell Calcium. 2011 Nov;50(5):407-23. doi: 10.1016/j.ceca.2011.07.006. Epub 2011 Sep 17.

Redox regulation of calcium ion channels: chemical and physiological aspects.

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Department of Biophysics, Saarland University, Homburg, Germany.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are increasingly recognized as second messengers in many cellular processes. While high concentrations of oxidants damage proteins, lipids and DNA, ultimately resulting in cell death, selective and reversible oxidation of key residues in proteins is a physiological mechanism that can transiently alter their activity and function. Defects in ROS producing enzymes cause disturbed immune response and disease. Changes in the intracellular free Ca(2+) concentration are key triggers for diverse cellular functions. Ca(2+) homeostasis thus needs to be precisely tuned by channels, pumps, transporters and cellular buffering systems. Alterations of these key regulatory proteins by reversible or irreversible oxidation alter the physiological outcome following cell stimulation. It is therefore necessary to understand which proteins are regulated and if this regulation is relevant in a physiological- and/or pathophysiological context. Because ROS are inherently difficult to identify and to measure, we first review basic oxygen redox chemistry and methods of ROS detection with special emphasis on electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. We then focus on the present knowledge of redox regulation of Ca(2+) permeable ion channels such as voltage-gated (CaV) Ca(2+) channels, transient receptor potential (TRP) channels and Orai channels.

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