Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
The plasma membrane calcium ATPases (PMCAs) are ubiquitously expressed proteins that couple the extrusion of calcium across the plasma membrane with the hydrolysis of ATP. In mammals, four separate genes encode distinct PMCA isoforms. Complex patterns of alternative RNA splicing generate additional isoform variability. Functionally, the PMCAs were originally assigned the role of maintaining basal levels of intracellular calcium. Recent evidence, however, is expanding the role of the PMCAs as important participants in dynamic Ca2+ regulation and as crucial players of Ca2+ export during normal and pathological conditions. This review highlights recent advances made on the biology of the PMCAs within the context of neuronal development, cellular responses to external stimuli and cell survival. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of the PMCAs in vestibular and auditory functions, localized calcium signaling in photoreceptor synaptic terminals and calcium-mediated cell death.