Changes in cytosolic calcium concentration are crucial for a variety of cellular processes in all cells. It has long been appreciated that calcium is stored and released from intracellular calcium stores such as the endoplasmic reticulum. However, emerging evidence indicates that calcium is also dynamically regulated by a seemingly disparate collection of acidic organelles. In this paper, we review the defining features of these 'acidic calcium stores' and highlight recent progress in understanding the mechanisms of uptake and release of calcium from these stores. We also examine the nature of calcium buffering within the stores, and summarize the physiological and pathophysiological significance of these ubiquitous organelles in calcium signaling.
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