Calcium signaling: from single channels to pathways


  • A. Skupin
  • K. Thurley


  • Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology


  • Adv Exp Med Biol 740: 531-551


  • Ca(2+) is not only one of the most versatile and ubiquitous second messengers but also a well-established representative example of cell signaling. The identification of most key elements involved in Ca(2+) signaling enables a mechanistic and quantitative understanding of this particular pathway. Cellular behavior relies in general on the orchestration of molecular behavior leading to reliable cellular responses that allow for regulation and adaptation. Ca(2+) signaling uses a hierarchical organization to transform single molecule behavior into cell wide signals. We have recently shown experimentally that this organization carries single channel signatures onto the whole cell level and renders Ca(2+) oscillations stochastic. Here, we briefly review the co-evolution of experimental and theoretical studies in Ca(2+) -signaling and show how dynamic bottom-up modeling can be used to address -biological questions and illuminate biological principles of cell signaling.