About this Research Topic
Spatial and temporal variations in intracellular Ca2+-signals regulate several physiological processes, for example fertilization, apoptosis, muscle contraction, neuronal activity and sensory perception. The precise detection and regulation of free intracellular Ca2+ in cells in general and in neurons in particular is a prerequisite for keeping normal cell function. Specific structural and biochemical features of neuronal calcium sensor (NCS) proteins determine precise cell localization, specific target regulation and non-redundant function. The diversity of these sensor proteins reflects the multiplicity of their biological roles, which include control of gene transcription, neuronal growth and survival, channel and receptor regulation, neurotransmitter release and synaptic plasticity. In the last years, an increasing number of neurological disorders and degenerative diseases have been associated with altered functions of specific NCS proteins, which range from autism spectrum disorders to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Progress in structural, biochemical and biophysical research on NCS will be discussed in this Research Topic, thus providing an up-to-date mechanistic view on NCS function and properties in normal and altered conditions. A major theme in this issue is to discuss how the alteration of proteins that detect and transduce Ca2+ signals may impact neuronal function and trigger disease. Specific topics of interest are the following: structure/function of NCS proteins, cellular function and target regulation; involvement in physiological processes and in neurological diseases, novel methods for studying NCS properties and dynamics.
Authors whose research follows within the broad topic of NCS in health and/or disease-associated conditions are welcome to contribute to this Research Topic. Original articles and up-to-date reviews will be considered for publication.