Plasma membrane Ca2+ pumps and Na+/Ca2+ exchangers.

E. E. Strehler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Membrane-intrinsic transport systems play an essential role in intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis. ATP-driven Ca2+ pumps and carrier-mediated Na+/Ca2+ exchangers are the two specific Ca2+ transporting systems mainly responsible for Ca2+ extrusion across the plasma membrane. Ca2+ pumps operate in all eukaryotic cell types and are characterized by their high Ca2+ affinity and their specific regulation by direct interaction with Ca2+/calmodulin. Na+/Ca2+ exchangers are particularly abundant in excitable tissues and are responsible for the bulk Ca2+ efflux in these tissues. Recent success in the molecular characterization of the pumps has led to the determination of complete amino acid sequences for several isoforms and has allowed the identification and topological assignment of important functional and regulatory domains. Genetic evidence indicates that mammalian Ca2+ pump diversity is generated from a multigene family and via alternative RNA splicing. Different isoforms may vary in their regulatory properties, presumably reflecting different physiological requirements of the tissues of their expression. Although the molecular characterization of Na+/Ca2+ exchangers is not as far advanced as that of the pumps, recent studies have established detailed kinetic, stoichiometric and regulatory properties of these systems. Together with advances in expression cloning methods these studies promise to result in a rapid improvement of our knowledge of the functional properties of these ion transporters on a molecular level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-295
Number of pages13
JournalSeminars in Cell Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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