In the phospholipase C signaling system, Ca(2+) is mobilized from intracellular stores by an action of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate. The depletion of intracellular calcium stores activates a calcium entry mechanism at the plasma membrane called capacitative calcium entry. The signal for activating the entry is unknown but likely involves either the generation or release, or both, from the endoplasmic reticulum of some diffusible signal. Recent research has focused on mammalian homologues of the Drosophila TRP protein as potential candidates for capacitative calcium entry channels. This review summarizes current knowledge about the nature of capacitative calcium entry signals, as well as the potential role of mammalian TRP proteins as capacitative calcium entry channel molecules.