The endoplasmic reticulum: one continuous or several separate Ca(2+) stores?

Trends Neurosci. 2001 May;24(5):271-6. doi: 10.1016/s0166-2236(00)01787-2.


The Ca2+ store and sink in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is important for Ca2+ signal integration and for conveyance of information in spatial and temporal domains. Textbooks regard the ER as one continuous network, but biochemical and biophysical studies revealed apparently discrete ER Ca2+ stores. Recent direct studies of ER lumenal Ca2+ movements show that this organelle system is one continuous Ca2+ store, which can function as a Ca2+ tunnel. The concept of a fully connected ER network is entirely compatible with evidence indicating that the distribution of Ca2+ -release channels in the ER membrane is discontinuous with clustering in certain localities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cell Compartmentation / physiology*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*


  • Calcium