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Talk Abstract
Elementary events of intracellular calcium liberation

Joel Keizer, Univ. of California, Davis

This talk is based on work of Ian Parker (Univ. of California, Irvine).

The application of confocal imaging techniques has resolved a hierarchy of subcellular release events that underlie calcium spikes and waves. The best known paradigm for such a hierarchical organization of calcium release events evoked by inositol trisphosphate (IP3) is illustrated by progressive recruitment of calcium `blips' and `puffs' in Xenopus oocytes. Recent data show that these form a continuum of events involving liberation of varying amounts of calcium; probably as a result of stochastic recruitment of variable numbers of channels within functional clusters. Optical techniques thus provide a means to monitor activity of single calcium channels within intact cells, and to study their interactions to produce coordinated global signals.

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