The plasma membrane calcium/calmodulin dependent ATPase (PMCA) is a calcium-extruding enzymatic pump important in the control of intracellular calcium concentration. PMCA is the only system for calcium extrusion in the majority of cells. In excitable cells such as cardiomyocytes however, PMCA has been shown to play only a minor role in calcium homeostasis. In these cells the main mechanism of calcium extrusion is the sodium calcium exchanger. However, increasing evidence points to an important role for PMCA in signal transduction; in particular in the nitric oxide signalling pathway. In this review we will discuss recent advances that support a key role for PMCA in signal transduction and the potential for therapeutic targeting of this molecule in the treatment of cardiac diseases.
Keywords: Plasma membrane calcium pump, signal transduction, neuronal nitric oxide synthase, cardiovascular disease
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