Decoding cytosolic Ca<sup>2+</sup> oscillations
A rise in cytosolic Ca2+ concentration is used as a universal signalling mechanism to control biological processes as diverse as exocytosis, contraction, cell growth and cell death. Ca2+ signals are often presented to cells in the form of Ca2+ oscillations, with signalling information encoded in both amplitude and frequency of the Ca2+ spikes. Recent studies have revealed that the sub-cellular spatial profile of the Ca2+ oscillation is also important in activating cellular responses, thereby suggesting a new mechanism for extracting information from he ubiquitous Ca2+ oscillation. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.