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Propagating Ca2+ waves are a characteristic feature of Ca(2+)-linked signal transduction pathways. Intracellular Ca2+ waves are formed by regenerative stimulation of Ca2+ release from intracellular stores by Ca2+ itself. Mechanisms that rely on either inositol trisphosphate or ryanodine receptor channels have been proposed to account for Ca2+ waves in various cell types. Both channel types contributed to the Ca2+ wave during fertilization of sea urchin eggs. Alternative mechanisms of Ca2+ release imply redundancy but may also allow for modulation and diversity in the generation of Ca2+ waves.

Original publication




Journal article


Science (New York, N.Y.)

Publication Date





348 - 352


Department of Pharmacology, Oxford University, United Kingdom.


Ovum, Animals, Xenopus, Sea Urchins, Calcium, Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate, Thimerosal, Ryanodine, Caffeine, Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose, Cyclic ADP-Ribose, Heparin, Calcium Channels, Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel, Muscle Proteins, Receptors, Cell Surface, Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear, Adenosine Triphosphate, Signal Transduction, Fertilization, Female, Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptors