A model for the regulation of T-type Ca(2+) channels in proliferation: roles in stem cells and cancer

Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2013 May;13(5):589-95. doi: 10.1586/era.13.34.


Ca(2+) influx at critical points in the cell cycle is required for proliferation. This requirement is so ubiquitous that its occurrence is often treated as background noise. Yet without it, cells stop dividing, suggesting an obvious and potentially effective way to treat cancer. To control proliferation by controlling Ca(2+) influx requires that the mechanism be elucidated, but this field of study has been filled with controversy and devoid of therapeutic utility. In this study, the authors present a model for the regulation of Ca(2+) influx at the G1/S restriction point in cancer and stem cells that is simple, cohesive and, we believe, reasonably complete. The model illustrates the essential role of T-type Ca(2+) channels in mediating influx and points clearly to the therapeutic strategies that have recently entered clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Channels, T-Type / metabolism*
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • G1 Phase / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • S Phase / physiology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism


  • Calcium Channels, T-Type
  • Calcium