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The Role of Ca2+ Signaling in Aging and Neurodegeneration: Insights from Caenorhabditis elegans Models

Institute of Biology and Molecular Genetics (IBGM), Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Valladolid and CSIC, Ramón y Cajal, 7, E-47005 Valladolid, Spain
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Cells 2020, 9(1), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010204
Received: 18 December 2019 / Revised: 8 January 2020 / Accepted: 10 January 2020 / Published: 14 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Key Signalling Molecules in Aging and Neurodegeneration)
Ca2+ is a ubiquitous second messenger that plays an essential role in physiological processes such as muscle contraction, neuronal secretion, and cell proliferation or differentiation. There is ample evidence that the dysregulation of Ca2+ signaling is one of the key events in the development of neurodegenerative processes, an idea called the “calcium hypothesis” of neurodegeneration. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a very good model for the study of aging and neurodegeneration. In fact, many of the signaling pathways involved in longevity were first discovered in this nematode, and many models of neurodegenerative diseases have also been developed therein, either through mutations in the worm genome or by expressing human proteins involved in neurodegeneration (β-amyloid, α-synuclein, polyglutamine, or others) in defined worm tissues. The worm is completely transparent throughout its whole life, which makes it possible to carry out Ca2+ dynamics studies in vivo at any time, by expressing Ca2+ fluorescent probes in defined worm tissues, and even in specific organelles such as mitochondria. This review will summarize the evidence obtained using this model organism to understand the role of Ca2+ signaling in aging and neurodegeneration.
Keywords: Ca2+; C. elegans; neurodegeneration; Alzheimer; Parkinson; SERCA; IP3 receptor; ryanodine receptor Ca2+; C. elegans; neurodegeneration; Alzheimer; Parkinson; SERCA; IP3 receptor; ryanodine receptor
MDPI and ACS Style

Alvarez, J.; Alvarez-Illera, P.; García-Casas, P.; Fonteriz, R.I.; Montero, M. The Role of Ca2+ Signaling in Aging and Neurodegeneration: Insights from Caenorhabditis elegans Models. Cells 2020, 9, 204.

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