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CRC Crit Rev Biochem. 1980;8(2):119-74.

Structure and evolution of calcium-modulated proteins.


This review suggests that the intracellular functions of calcium are best understood in terms of calcium's functioning as a second messenger. Further, when functioning as a second messenger, calcium completes its mission not by transferring charge nor by binding to lipid but by binding to specific targets, calcium-modulated proteins. This concept is broadly interpreted to include proteins involved in calcium transport. There is strong evidence that many, if not all, of these calcium-modulated proteins are homologs. Their structures and properties are contrasted to those of extracellular calcium-binding proteins which are not homologous to one another or to the intracellular calcium-modulated proteins. Finally, this line of thought leads to a suggestion of the evolutionary reason for the choice of calcium as the sole inorganic second messenger.

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