Calcium homeostasis in crustaceans: Subcellular Ca dynamics

M. G. Wheatly, F. P. Zanotto, M. G. Hubbard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The molting cycle of crustaceans, associated with renewal and remineralization of the cuticle, has emerged as a model system to study regulation of genes that code for Ca2+-transporting proteins, common to all eukaryotic cells. This article reviews state-of-the-art knowledge about how crustacean transporting epithelia (gills, hepatopancreas and antennal gland) effect mass transcellular movement of Ca2+ while preventing cytotoxicity. The current model proposed is based on in vitro research on the intermolt stage with extrapolation to other molting stages. Plasma membrane proteins involved in apical and basolateral Ca2+ movement (NCX, PMCA) are contrasted between aquatic species of different osmotic origin and among transporting epithelia of an individual species. Their roles are assessed in the context of epithelial Ca2+ flux derived from organismic approaches. Exchange with extracellular environments is integrated with Ca2+ sequestration mechanisms across endomembranes of the ER/SR and mitochondria. Finally, the review postulates how new Ca2+ imaging techniques will allow spatial and temporal resolution of Ca2+ concentration in subcellular domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-178
Number of pages16
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - B Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcium transport
  • Crustacean
  • Endo/sarcoplasmic reticulum
  • Mitochondria
  • Na/Ca exchanger (NCX)
  • Plasma membrane Ca ATPase (PMCA)
  • Sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca ATPase (SERCA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology


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