Calcium pump isoforms: Diversity, selectivity and plasticity
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Ca2+ pumps are essential for removing cytosolic Ca2+ either across the plasma membrane (PM) or into internal organelles such as the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). Four genes (PMCA1, PMCA2, PMCA3 and PMCA4) have been reported to encode the PM Ca2+ pumps and three (SERCA1, SERCA2 and SERCA3) to encode the SR Ca2+ pumps. The PM Ca2+ pumps are stimulated by calmodulin, the SR Ca2+ pumps encoded by SERCA1 and SERCA2 are stimulated by phospholamban while the product of SERCA3 may be regulated directly by cAMP-dependent protein kinase. Alternative splicing of the primary transcripts of several of these genes has been reported to occur in a tissue selective manner and for others to alter during ontogeny. For the PM Ca2+ pump, alternative RNA splicing may result in isoforms with altered cyclic nucleotide dependent protein kinase sensitivity. The diversity in distribution of Ca2+ pump isoforms and their regulatory factors when coupled with different Ca2+ entry mechanisms allows for tissue selectivity and plasticity in stimulus-response coupling. The roles of various Ca2+ pump isoforms, the rationale behind their tissue selective expression and the plasticity in this expression are among the new challenges to researchers in this field.
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