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Protein provides link between calcium signaling in excitable and non-excitable cells
Date:10/1/2010

"So it was surprising that the STIM1 protein known to function mostly in non-excitable cells was having a pretty profound effect on the L-type calcium channels".

"This is particularly true in tissue like smooth muscle where it is sort of like a hybrid between an excitable and a non-excitable cell, because it has the voltage-operated calcium channel and the Orai calcium channel, as well as the very powerful STIM sensing system," he said.

Gill said that the researchers' finding gives a common mechanism for calcium signaling in both excitable and non-excitable cells, a link that was never before known.

"It's a very basic finding, but it's another whole area of control that people didn't know about before," he said. "They knew there were L-type calcium channels in many non-excitable cells, but they didn't seem to have any function. Now it seems very possible that the reason they didn't function is that the STIM1 protein was suppressing their function."


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Contact: Preston M. Moretz
pmoretz@temple.edu
215-204-4380
Temple University
Source:Eurekalert

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