Ca2+ 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 journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-8
Number of pages8
JournalScience China Life Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • Animals
  • Blood Vessels/metabolism
  • Calcium/metabolism
  • Calcium Signaling/physiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases/physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena
  • Heart Failure/physiopathology
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes/genetics
  • Long QT Syndrome/enzymology
  • Muscle Contraction/physiology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular/enzymology
  • Myocardium/metabolism
  • Plasma Membrane Calcium-Transporting ATPases/genetics


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