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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 409245, 13 pages
Review Article

Ca2+ Signaling in Cytoskeletal Reorganization, Cell Migration, and Cancer Metastasis

1Department of Pharmacology, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, No. 1, Section 1, Ren-Ai Road, Taipei 100, Taiwan
2Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, No. 7 Chung-Shan South Road, Taipei 100, Taiwan

Received 17 December 2014; Accepted 12 March 2015

Academic Editor: Hiroshi Hasegawa

Copyright © 2015 Feng-Chiao Tsai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Proper control of Ca2+ signaling is mandatory for effective cell migration, which is critical for embryonic development, wound healing, and cancer metastasis. However, how Ca2+ coordinates structural components and signaling molecules for proper cell motility had remained elusive. With the advance of fluorescent live-cell Ca2+ imaging in recent years, we gradually understand how Ca2+ is regulated spatially and temporally in migrating cells, driving polarization, protrusion, retraction, and adhesion at the right place and right time. Here we give an overview about how cells create local Ca2+ pulses near the leading edge, maintain cytosolic Ca2+ gradient from back to front, and restore Ca2+ depletion for persistent cell motility. Differential roles of Ca2+ in regulating various effectors and the interaction of roles of Ca2+ signaling with other pathways during migration are also discussed. Such information might suggest a new direction to control cancer metastasis by manipulating Ca2+ and its associating signaling molecules in a judicious manner.