Statistical Properties and Information Content of Calcium Oscillations

Alexander Skupin (
Martin Falcke (

Hahn-Meitner-Institut, Department of Theoretical Physics, Glienicker Str. 100, 14109 Berlin, Germany


Calcium is the most important second messenger in living cells serving as a critical link between a large variety of extracellular stimuli and the intracellular target. Often, the Ca2+ signal is carried by [Ca2+] oscillations. Our recent studies have demonstrated that in contrast to traditional ideas Ca2+ oscillations do not occur by simple synchronization of channel clusters opening and closing in an oscillatory fashion but originate from microscopic fluctuation caused by the stochastic binding of the ligands Ca2+ and IP3 to the receptor’s binding sites. They are orchestrated spatially on the cell level by wave nucleation. In this paper we analyze the stochastic data and show how internal properties can be determined from global observations. Further, we analyze the information content of spontaneous and stimulated oscillations.

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Japanese Society for Bioinformatics