SpiCee: A Genetic Tool for Subcellular and Cell-Specific Calcium Manipulation

Cell Rep. 2020 Jul 21;32(3):107934. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107934.


Calcium is a second messenger crucial to a myriad of cellular processes ranging from regulation of metabolism and cell survival to vesicle release and motility. Current strategies to directly manipulate endogenous calcium signals lack cellular and subcellular specificity. We introduce SpiCee, a versatile and genetically encoded chelator combining low- and high-affinity sites for calcium. This scavenger enables altering endogenous calcium signaling and functions in single cells in vitro and in vivo with biochemically controlled subcellular resolution. SpiCee paves the way to investigate local calcium signaling in vivo and directly manipulate this second messenger for therapeutic use.

Keywords: EF hand; axon guidance; calcium; calcium buffer; calmodulin; neuronal migration; parvalbumin; single-cell pharmacology; subcellular calcium manipulation; subcellular compartment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Signaling / drug effects
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Chelating Agents / pharmacology
  • Genetic Techniques*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism
  • Thapsigargin / pharmacology


  • Chelating Agents
  • Thapsigargin
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Calcium