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The functions of Ca(2+) in bacteria: a role for EF-hand proteins?

In bacteria, Ca(2+) is implicated in a wide variety of cellular processes, including the cell cycle and cell division. Dedicated influx and efflux systems tightly control the low cytoplasmic Ca(2+) levels in prokaryotes. Additionally, the growing number of proteins containing various Ca(2+)-binding motifs supports the importance of Ca(2+), which controls various protein functions by affecting protein stability, enzymatic activity or signal transduction. The existence of calmodulin-like proteins (containing EF-hand motifs) in bacteria is a long-standing hypothesis. Analysis of the prokaryotic protein sequences available in the databases has revealed the presence of several calmodulin-like proteins containing two or more authentic EF-hand motifs, suggesting that calmodulin-like proteins could be involved in Ca(2+) regulation in bacteria.[1]


  1. The functions of Ca(2+) in bacteria: a role for EF-hand proteins? Michiels, J., Xi, C., Verhaert, J., Vanderleyden, J. Trends Microbiol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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