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Bioessays. 1995 Jun;17(6):491-500.

Calcium signalling and cell proliferation.

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Babraham Institute Laboratory of Molecular Signalling, Department of Zoology, Cambridge, UK.


The orderly sequence of events that constitutes the cell cycle is carefully regulated. A part of this regulation depends upon the ubiquitous calcium signalling system. Many growth factors utilize the messenger inositol trisphosphate (InsP3) to set up prolonged calcium signals, often organized in an oscillatory pattern. These repetitive calcium spikes require both the entry of external calcium and its release from internal stores. One function of this calcium signal is to activate the immediate early genes responsible for inducing resting cells (G0) to re-enter the cell cycle. It may also promote the initiation of DNA synthesis at the G1/S transition. Finally, calcium contributes to the completion of the cell cycle by stimulating events at mitosis. The role of calcium in cell proliferation is highlighted by the increasing number of anticancer therapies and immunosuppressant drugs directed towards this calcium signalling pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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