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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Oct 1;322(4):1364-73.

Calcium signaling and polycystin-2.

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Department of Pharmacology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is caused by mutations in two genes, PKD1 and PKD2, which encode for the proteins, polycystin-1 (PC1) and polycystin-2 (PC2), respectively. Although disease-associated mutations have been identified in these two proteins, the sequence of molecular events leading up to clinical symptoms is still unknown. PC1 resides in the plasma membrane and it is thought to function in cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, whereas PC2 is a calcium (Ca2+) permeable cation channel concentrated in the endoplasmic reticulum. Both proteins localize to the primary cilia where they function as a mechanosensitive receptor complex allowing the entry of Ca2+ into the cell. The downstream signaling pathway involves activation of intracellular Ca2+ release channels, especially the ryanodine receptor (RyR), but subsequent steps are still to be identified. Elucidation of the signaling pathway involved in normal PC1/PC2 function, the functional consequences of PC1/PC2 mutation, and the role of Ca2+ signaling will all help to unravel the molecular mechanisms of cystogenesis in PKD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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