Calcium (Ca2+) signals are generated across a broad time range. Kinetic considerations impact how information is processed to encode and decode Ca2+ signals, the choreography of responses that ensure specific and efficient signaling and the overall temporal amplification such that ephemeral Ca2+ signals have lasting physiological value. The reciprocal importance of timing for Ca2+ signaling, and Ca2+ signaling for timing is exemplified by the altered kinetic profiles of Ca2+ signals in certain diseases and the likely role of basal Ca2+ fluctuations in the perception of time itself.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Work supported by NIH (NS046783) and a NSF CAREER Fellowship (J.S.M., 0237946). Space considerations restricted discussion of many examples and we apologize for the omission of pertinent work.