Ca 2+ signalling in cardiovascular disease: The role of the plasma membrane calcium pumps

Elizabeth J. Cartwright, Delvac Oceandy, Clare Austin, Ludwig Neyses

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The plasma membrane calcium ATPases (PMCA) are a family of genes which extrude Ca 2+ from the cell and are involved in the maintenance of intracellular free calcium levels and/or with Ca 2+ signalling, depending on the cell type. In the cardiovascular system, Ca 2+ is not only essential for contraction and relaxation but also has a vital role as a second messenger in signal transduction pathways. A complex array of mechanisms regulate intracellular free calcium levels in the heart and vasculature and a failure in these systems to maintain normal Ca 2+ homeostasis has been linked to both heart failure and hypertension. This article focuses on the functions of PMCA, in particular isoform 4 (PMCA4), in the heart and vasculature and the reported links between PMCAs and contractile function, cardiac hypertrophy, cardiac rhythm and sudden cardiac death, and blood pressure control and hypertension. It is becoming clear that this family of calcium extrusion pumps have essential roles in both cardiovascular health and disease. © 2011 Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)691-698
    Number of pages7
    JournalScience China Life Sciences
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


    • Ca 2+ homeostasis
    • Ca 2+ signalling
    • heart failure
    • hypertension
    • plasma membrane calcium/calmodulin-dependent ATPase


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