Do nitric oxide and cGMP play a role in calcium cycling?

Cell Calcium. 1995 Sep;18(3):207-13. doi: 10.1016/0143-4160(95)90065-9.


The biological molecule NO and its cyclic nucleotide effector molecule cGMP, are involved in a variety of biological systems. This article reviews evidence supporting a role for these molecules in signal transduction. Over the last 10 years, it has become evident that these molecules are important in Ca2+ regulation, particularly in excitable cells. In these cells, cGMP-dependent mechanisms appear to both directly and indirectly regulate Ca2+ transport. Until recently, reports of the actions of cGMP in non-excitable cells have been contradictory, presenting a confusing plethora of effects. In these cells, the cGMP-Ca2+ regulation pathway appears to be concentration-dependent, possibly representing a negative feedback mechanism. Ca2+ entry appears to be activated when low concentrations of cGMP are present, and inhibited at higher concentrations. The role of cGMP in Ca2+ regulation in non-excitable cells has been largely overlooked and further investigation of this issue may provide clues as to the nature of various unknown components that induce Ca2+ entry into these cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cyclic GMP / physiology*
  • Ion Transport
  • Nitric Oxide / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Nitric Oxide
  • Cyclic GMP
  • Calcium