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Verkhratsky, Alexei; Trebak, Mohamed; Perocchi, Fabiana; Khananshvili, Daniel and Sekler, Israel (2018): Crosslink between calcium and sodium signalling. In: Experimental Physiology, Vol. 103, No. 2: pp. 157-169

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Abstract

Transmembrane ionic gradients, which are an indispensable feature of life, are used for generation of cytosolic ionic signals that regulate a host of cellular functions. Intracellular signalling mediated by Ca2+ and Na+ is tightly linked through several molecular pathways that generate Ca2+ and Na+ fluxes and are in turn regulated by both ions. Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels bridge endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release with generation of Na+ and Ca2+ currents. The plasmalemmal Na+-Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) flickers between forward and reverse mode to co-ordinate the influx and efflux of both ions with membrane polarization and cytosolic ion concentrations. The mitochondrial calcium uniporter channel (MCU) and mitochondrial Na+-Ca2+ exchanger (NCLX) mediate Ca2+ entry into and release from this organelle and couple cytosolic Ca2+ and Na+ fluctuations with cellular energetics. Cellular Ca2+ and Na+ signalling controls numerous functional responses and, in the CNS, provides for fast regulation of astroglial homeostatic cascades that are crucial for maintenance of synaptic transmission.

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