An Emerging Role for Calcium Signaling in Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Oct 21;22(21):11366. doi: 10.3390/ijms222111366.


Tumors exist in a complex milieu where interaction with their associated microenvironment significantly contributes to disease progression. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are the primary component of the tumor microenvironment and participate in complex bidirectional communication with tumor cells. CAFs support the development of various hallmarks of cancer through diverse processes, including direct cell-cell contact, paracrine signaling, and remodeling and deposition of the extracellular matrix. Calcium signaling is a key second messenger in intra- and inter-cellular signaling pathways that contributes to cancer progression; however, the links between calcium signaling and CAFs are less well-explored. In this review, we put into context the role of calcium signaling in interactions between cancer cells and CAFs, with a focus on migration, proliferation, chemoresistance, and genetic instability.

Keywords: calcium; cancer; cancer-associated fibroblasts; chemoresistance; migration.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcium Signaling*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Tumor Microenvironment*