The Year in Basic Science: Calmodulin Kinase Cascades

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Abstract

This article highlights studies published during the past year that represent significant scientific achievements in the world of calmodulin kinase cascades. Calmodulin is the primary receptor for calcium present in all cells. The binding of its calcium ligand results in a conformational change in calmodulin, which allows the calcium-calmodulin complex to interact with many different targets. In the studies to be summarized in this review, the particular calmodulin cascade involved is shown to be the pathway responsible for important biological responses, including long-term memory formation, dendritic cell survival, hypercapnia, neuronal migration, synapse formation, autophagy, fatty acid oxidation, and energy balance. In some cases, the pathway was previously unknown, and the identification of the calmodulin cascade represents the definition of roles. In other cases, manipulating the cascade has suggested therapeutic approaches to certain diseases, most significantly, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

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