Crustacean models for studying calcium transport: The journey from whole organisms to molecular mechanisms

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37 Scopus citations


The crustacean moult cycle is a convenient model system in which to study calcium (Ca) homeostasis as vectorial movement across Ca transporting epithelia (gills, gastric epithelium, cuticular hypodermis, antennal gland) which occurs in either direction at different stages of the moulting cycle. Intermoult crustaceans are in relative Ca balance. During premoult, at the same time as the cuticle decalcifies, epithelia involved in Ca storage (e.g. gastric) calcify and/or increase their intracellular Ca stores, Premoult Ca balance is typically negative as Ca is excreted. During postmoult the soft new cuticle is remineralized largely with external Ca taken up across the gills and gastric epithelium (positive Ca balance); conversely during this time internally stored Ca is remobilized. This review (1) compares the relative roles of Ca transporting epithelia in Ca balance for crustaceans from different habitats; (2) proposes up-to-date cellular models for both apical to basolateral and basolateral to apical Ca transport in both noncalcifying and calcifying epithelia; (3) compares kinetics of the Ca pump and exchanger during intermoult; (4) presents new data on specific activity of calcium adenosinetriphosphatase (Ca2+ ATPase) during the moult cycle of crayfish and (5) characterizes a partial cDNA sequence for the crayfish sarcoplasmic reticular Ca2+ ATPase and documents its expression in gill, kidney and muscle of intermoult crayfish. The physiological and molecular characterization of Ca transporters in crustaceans will provide insight into the function, regulation and molecular evolution of mechanisms common to all eukaryotic cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-125
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science


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