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Nucleoplasmic calcium signaling and cell proliferation: calcium signaling in the nucleus

Rodrigo R Resende1, Lidia M Andrade2, Andre G Oliveira3, Erika S Guimarães3, Silvia Guatimosim3 and M Fatima Leite345*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biochemistry and Immunology, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

2 René Rachou Research Center, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

3 Physiology and Biophysics, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

4 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, Maryland, MD, USA

5 Institute of Biological Sciences Bloco A4 246, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Av Antônio Carlos, 6627, Belo Horizonte, 30370-920, Brazil

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Cell Communication and Signaling 2013, 11:14  doi:10.1186/1478-811X-11-14

Published: 21 February 2013


Calcium (Ca2+) is an essential signal transduction element involved in the regulation of several cellular activities and it is required at various key stages of the cell cycle. Intracellular Ca2+ is crucial for the orderly cell cycle progression and plays a vital role in the regulation of cell proliferation. Recently, it was demonstrated by in vitro and in vivo studies that nucleoplasmic Ca2+ regulates cell growth. Even though the mechanism by which nuclear Ca2+ regulates cell proliferation is not completely understood, there are reports demonstrating that activation of tyrosine kinase receptors (RTKs) leads to translocation of RTKs to the nucleus to generate localized nuclear Ca2+ signaling which are believed to modulate cell proliferation. Moreover, nuclear Ca2+ regulates the expression of genes involved in cell growth. This review will describe the nuclear Ca2+ signaling machinery and its role in cell proliferation. Additionally, the potential role of nuclear Ca2+ as a target in cancer therapy will be discussed.

Nucleoplasmic reticulum; Nuclear calcium channels; Nuclear calcium; Cell proliferation