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Calcium as Second Messengers - Essay Example

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Masters
Essay
Science
Pages 4 (1004 words)

Summary

Second messengers are molecules that relay signals received at receptors on the cell surface - such as the arrival of protein hormones, growth factors, etc. - to target molecules in the cytosol and/or nucleus. But in addition to their job as relay molecules, second messengers serve to greatly amplify the strength of the signal…

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Calcium as Second Messengers

Calcium ions are also important intracellular messengers. In fact, calcium ions are probably the most widely used intracellular messengers (Kimball, 2006). Calcium plays a fundamental role in a variety of cellular functions. It is involved in contraction, secretion, endocytosis, transport across membranes and in more general processes such as cell motility, cell growth and cell division (De Robertis & De Robertis, 1987). Calcium is one of the most important second messenger molecules, with a diverse array of effectors. The intracellular Ca2+ plays a role as the second messenger in the hypotonic stress-induced Na+ transport by stimulating the transcription of SGK1 and ENaC subunits (Taruno, Niisato, Marunaka, 2007). Calcium directly moderates electrical activity, on a relatively fast time scale, through its control of calcium-dependent potassium channels. Long term effects are mediated by various kinases and phosphatases. Calcium is one of the activators of protein kinase C, which plays a role in synaptic plasticity. In a complex with calmodulin56, calcium is an activator or regulator of several enzymes, including calcium-calmodulin dependent protein kinase, which plays a role in synaptic plasticity, and adenylate cyclase, which produces cAMP, another important second messenger. ...
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