Cyclic adenosine diphosphoribose (cADPR) is an endogenous Ca2+ mobilizing nucleotide in many cell types and different species covering protozoa, plants and animals, including humans. cADPR is formed by ADP-ribosyl cyclases from nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). Since at least some of the ADP-ribosyl cyclases are under the control of receptors for exogenous ligands, cADPR is regarded as a second messenger for Ca2+ signaling. The main intracellular target for cADPR is the ryanodine receptor, but it is unclear whether cADPR elicits Ca2+ release by direct binding or via a binding protein. Derivatives of NAD and cADPR are potent ADP-ribosyl cyclase inhibitors and cADPR antagonists. Since Ca2+ ions are regulators of many diverse cell functions, e.g. muscle contraction, secretion of neurotransmitters, hormones and enzymes, fertilization of oocytes, and lymphocyte activation and proliferation, the cADPR signaling pathway may become a valuable target for pharmaceutical intervention.