Science Signaling Podcast for 6 June 2017: Calcium signaling and dry mouth

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Science Signaling  06 Jun 2017:
Vol. 10, Issue 482, eaan8004
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aan8004

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This Podcast features a conversation with Indu Ambudkar, senior author of a Research Resource that appears in the 6 June 2017 issue of Science Signaling, about how activation of the cation channel TRPM2 is involved in radiation-induced dry mouth. Patients who receive radiation therapy for head and neck cancers often develop dry mouth as a side effect, and this condition is frequently permanent. Radiation does not kill cells in the salivary gland, yet it causes the acinar cells of the gland to reduce the amount of saliva they secrete. Liu et al. found that radiation-induced activation of the cation channel TRPM2 triggered cleavage of the endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ sensor STIM1, thus inhibiting store-operated Ca2+ entry and interfering with saliva production. These findings identify proteins that could potentially be targeted to prevent dry mouth in patients undergoing radiation therapy.

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