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Physiol Rev. 2016 Oct;96(4):1261-96. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00006.2016.

The Inositol Trisphosphate/Calcium Signaling Pathway in Health and Disease.

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Laboratory of Molecular Signalling, The Babraham Institute, Babraham Research Campus, Cambridge, CB22 3AT, United Kingdom.


Many cellular functions are regulated by calcium (Ca(2+)) signals that are generated by different signaling pathways. One of these is the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate/calcium (InsP3/Ca(2+)) signaling pathway that operates through either primary or modulatory mechanisms. In its primary role, it generates the Ca(2+) that acts directly to control processes such as metabolism, secretion, fertilization, proliferation, and smooth muscle contraction. Its modulatory role occurs in excitable cells where it modulates the primary Ca(2+) signal generated by the entry of Ca(2+) through voltage-operated channels that releases Ca(2+) from ryanodine receptors (RYRs) on the internal stores. In carrying out this modulatory role, the InsP3/Ca(2+) signaling pathway induces subtle changes in the generation and function of the voltage-dependent primary Ca(2+) signal. Changes in the nature of both the primary and modulatory roles of InsP3/Ca(2+) signaling are a contributory factor responsible for the onset of a large number human diseases.

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