Inositol trisphosphate and calcium signalling mechanisms

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Jun;1793(6):933-40. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2008.10.005. Epub 2008 Oct 29.


Studies on control of fluid secretion by an insect salivary gland led to the discovery of inositol trisphosphate (IP3) and its role in calcium signalling. Many cell stimuli act on receptors that are coupled to phospholipase C that hydrolyses phosphatidylinosol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) to release IP3 to the cytosol. IP3 receptors located on the endoplasmic reticulum respond to this elevation of IP3 by releasing Ca2+, which is often organized into characteristic spatial (elementary events and waves) and temporal (Ca2+ oscillations) patterns. This IP3/Ca2+ pathway is a remarkably versatile signalling system that has been adapted to control processes as diverse as fertilization, proliferation, contraction, cell metabolism, vesicle and fluid secretion and information processing in neuronal cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology*
  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate / metabolism*
  • Medulla Oblongata / cytology
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Salivary Glands / cytology
  • Salivary Glands / metabolism


  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate
  • Calcium