Calcium Channels and Pumps in Cancer: Changes and Consequences
Increases in intracellular free Ca2+ play a major role in many cellular processes. The deregulation of Ca2+ signaling is a feature of a variety of diseases, and modulators of Ca2+ signaling are used to treat conditions as diverse as hypertension to pain. The Ca2+ signal also plays a role in processes important in cancer, such as proliferation and migration. Many studies in cancer have identified alterations in the expression of proteins involved in the movement of Ca2+ across the plasma membrane and subcellular organelles. In some cases, these Ca2+ channels or pumps are potential therapeutic targets for specific cancer subtypes or correlate with prognosis.