Cellular and Molecular Biology

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Calcium Induced Calcium Release in Neurons


Calcium is necessary for numerous cell-signaling events in a variety of cells. These include receptor trafficking events, apoptosis, and gene transcription. Calcium influx from the extracellular space often triggers Calcium-Induced Calcium Release (CICR) from intracellular calcium stores such as the endoplasmic reticulum or the mitochondria.

How does this occur in excitatory neuron synapses?

Calcium enters excitatory synapses primarily through

​receptors acting as coincidence detectors for membrane polarization and neurotransmitter release. Once inside the cytosol, calcium binds ER-localized

receptors, which act as amplifiers by releasing calcium from the ER. This calcium is returned to the ER by the ATP-driven