The 'building-block' model of inositol trisphosphate (IP3)-mediated Ca2+ liberation posits that cell-wide cytosolic Ca2+ signals arise through coordinated activation of localized Ca2+ puffs generated by stationary clusters of IP3 receptors (IP3Rs). Here, we revise this hypothesis, applying fluctuation analysis to resolve Ca2+ signals otherwise obscured during large Ca2+ elevations. We find the rising phase of global Ca2+ signals is punctuated by a flurry of puffs, which terminate before the peak by a mechanism involving partial ER Ca2+ depletion. The continuing rise in Ca2+, and persistence of global signals even when puffs are absent, reveal a second mode of spatiotemporally diffuse Ca2+ signaling. Puffs make only small, transient contributions to global Ca2+ signals, which are sustained by diffuse release of Ca2+ through a functionally distinct process. These two modes of IP3-mediated Ca2+ liberation have important implications for downstream signaling, imparting spatial and kinetic specificity to Ca2+-dependent effector functions and Ca2+ transport.
- Ian Parker
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Kenton J Swartz, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, United States
© 2020, Lock & Parker
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