Molecular physiology of the SERCA and SPCA pumps

Cell Calcium. Nov-Dec 2002;32(5-6):279-305. doi: 10.1016/s0143416002001847.


Intracellular Ca(2+)-transport ATPases exert a pivotal role in the endoplasmic reticulum and in the compartments of the cellular secretory pathway by maintaining a sufficiently high lumenal Ca(2+) (and Mn(2+)) concentration in these compartments required for an impressive number of vastly different cell functions. At the same time this lumenal Ca(2+) represents a store of releasable activator Ca(2+) controlling an equally impressive number of cytosolic functions. This review mainly focuses on the different Ca(2+)-transport ATPases found in the intracellular compartments of mainly animal non-muscle cells: the sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA) pumps. Although it is not our intention to treat the ATPases of the specialized sarcoplasmic reticulum in depth, we can hardly ignore the SERCA1 pump of fast-twitch skeletal muscle since its structure and function is by far the best understood and it can serve as a guide to understand the other members of the family. In a second part of this review we describe the relatively novel family of secretory pathway Ca(2+)/Mn(2+) ATPases (SPCA), which in eukaryotic cells are primarily found in the Golgi compartment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Ca(2+) Mg(2+)-ATPase / chemistry*
  • Ca(2+) Mg(2+)-ATPase / physiology*
  • Calcium-Transporting ATPases / chemistry*
  • Calcium-Transporting ATPases / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Ca(2+) Mg(2+)-ATPase
  • Calcium-Transporting ATPases