The role of calcium in hypoxia-induced signal transduction and gene expression.

Department of Genome Science, Genome Research Institute, University of Cincinnati, 2180 E. Galbraith Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45237, USA.
Cell Calcium (Impact Factor: 4.33). 01/2004; 36(3-4):331-40. DOI: 10.1016/j.ceca.2004.02.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mammalian cells require a constant supply of oxygen in order to maintain adequate energy production, which is essential for maintaining normal function and for ensuring cell survival. Sustained hypoxia can result in cell death. Sophisticated mechanisms have therefore evolved which allow cells to respond and adapt to hypoxia. Specialized oxygen-sensing cells have the ability to detect changes in oxygen tension and transduce this signal into organ system functions that enhance the delivery of oxygen to tissue in a wide variety of different organisms. An increase in intracellular calcium levels is a primary response of many cell types to hypoxia/ischemia. The response to hypoxia is complex and involves the regulation of multiple signaling pathways and coordinated expression of perhaps hundreds of genes. This review discusses the role of calcium in hypoxia-induced regulation of signal transduction pathways and gene expression. An understanding of the molecular events initiated by changes in intracellular calcium will lead to the development of therapeutic approaches toward the treatment of hypoxic/ischemic diseases and tumors.

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