Author(s): Werry TD, Wilkinson GF, Willars GB
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Abstract Alteration in [Ca(2+)](i) (the intracellular concentration of Ca(2+)) is a key regulator of many cellular processes. To allow precise regulation of [Ca(2+)](i) and a diversity of signalling by this ion, cells possess many mechanisms by which they are able to control [Ca(2+)](i) both globally and at the subcellular level. Among these are many members of the superfamily of GPCRs (G-protein-coupled receptors), which are characterized by the presence of seven transmembrane domains. Typically, those receptors able to activate PLC (phospholipase C) enzymes cause release of Ca(2+) from intracellular stores and influence Ca(2+) entry across the plasma membrane. It has been well documented that Ca(2+) signalling by one type of GPCR can be influenced by stimulation of a different type of GPCR. Indeed, many studies have demonstrated heterologous desensitization between two different PLC-coupled GPCRs. This is not surprising, given our current understanding of negative-feedback regulation and the likely shared components of the signalling pathway. However, there are also many documented examples of interactions between GPCRs, often coupling preferentially to different signalling pathways, which result in a potentiation of Ca(2+) signalling. Such interactions have important implications for both the control of cell function and the interpretation of in vitro cell-based assays. However, there is currently no single mechanism that adequately accounts for all examples of this type of cross-talk. Indeed, many studies either have not addressed this issue or have been unable to determine the mechanism(s) involved. This review seeks to explore a range of possible mechanisms to convey their potential diversity and to provide a basis for further experimental investigation.
This article was published in Biochem J
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology