PerspectivePhysiology

In SYNC: The Ins and Outs of Circadian Oscillations in Calcium

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Science's STKE  12 Jun 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 390, pp. pe32
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3902007pe32

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Abstract

Many stimuli induce short-term increases in the cytosolic concentration of free calcium ions ([Ca2+]i) that encode signaling information about diverse physiological and developmental events. Slow cytosolic Ca2+ oscillations that span an entire day have also been discovered in both plants and animals; it is thought that these daily Ca2+ oscillations may encode circadian clock signaling information. A recent study focusing on the characterization of the extracellular Ca2+-sensing receptor (CAS) has provided insight into the molecular mechanisms by which the daily Ca2+ oscillation in plants is generated. We summarize the major findings regarding daily oscillations of cytosolic Ca2+ concentrations in plants and animals, and discuss hypothetical biological roles for the circadian clock–regulated physiology in plants.

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