Physiological functions of cyclic ADP-ribose and NAADP as calcium messengers

Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2001;41:317-45. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pharmtox.41.1.317.


Cyclic ADP-ribose (cADPR) and nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP) are two Ca(2+) messengers derived from NAD and NADP, respectively. Although NAADP is a linear molecule, structurally distinct from the cyclic cADPR, it is synthesized by similar enzymes, ADP-ribosyl cyclase and its homolog, CD38. The crystal structure of the cyclase has been solved and its active site identified. These two novel nucleotides have now been shown to be involved in a wide range of cellular functions including: cell cycle regulation in Euglena, a protist; gene expression in plants; and in animal systems, from fertilization to neurotransmitter release and long-term depression in brain. A battery of pharmacological reagents have been developed, providing valuable tools for elucidating the physiological functions of these two novel Ca(2+) messengers. This article reviews these recent results and explores the implications of the existence of multiple Ca(2+) messengers and Ca(2+) stores in cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Calcium / physiology*
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology*
  • Humans
  • NADP / analogs & derivatives
  • NADP / physiology*


  • Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose
  • NADP
  • Calcium